Leadership is a powerful and relentless combination of strategy, execution and inspiration.

To lead you must know where you are, where you need to be, how best to get there and how to inspire others to join you in the journey.  Like playing chess, you must anticipate your next move well in advance and you must have the courage to act.  And ultimately, the purpose of leadership is not merely to accomplish, but to make things happen that matter.


To lead you must neither fear the unknown, nor shrink from the difficult solution when it becomes clear.

Thomas Carlyle, the Scottish writer and essayist, once said:  “Every noble work is at first impossible.”  The lives and contributions of Moses, Galileo, Edison, Einstein, Mother Theresa and countless others, have been characterized by the courageous pursuit of the impossible.

Often, a leader’s path will require taking “a road less traveled”, to borrow the famous recommendation of Robert Frost, and as Ralph Waldo Emerson once urged:  “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.”

In his famous eulogy for his lost brother Robert, Edward Kennedy expressed it this way:  “Our future may lie beyond our vision, but it is not completely beyond our control. It is the shaping impulse of America that neither fate nor nature nor the irresistible tides of history, but the work of our own hands, matched to reason and principle, that will determine our destiny.”  He concluded by quoting a famous line from Robert’s speeches:  “Some men see things as they are and say ‘Why?’  I dream things that never were and say ‘Why not?’”


In the words of  David Starr Jordan, a past president of Stanford University and the World Peace Foundation, “Wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it.”  It is a wise leader who invests his time and energy in strategic planning, but it is a virtuous leader who forcefully puts his plans into action.  Any plan worthy of original thought is deserving of purposeful execution, for to plan without implementation is a tragic waste of skills and momentum.


Peter Drucker, the noted business author, characterized some business leaders this way:  “There is an enormous number of managers who have retired on the job.”  This form of abdication is a safe harbor a leader must never visit.  He is entitled to moments of fatigue and indecision, but he is obligated to fight on.  Leadership requires persistence, dogged determination and unflagging commitment. The moment you accept the mantle of leadership you must accept that responsibility.


And finally, “The difference between a boss and a leader,” E. M. Kelly remarked, is that “a boss says, ‘Go!’; a leader says, ‘Let’s go!’ “  Inspiring those who would follow you is the most important quality a leader must exhibit.  Whether in business, a foxhole, or the center aisle of a hijacked airliner on its way to Washington D.C., leaders must lead.

Author's Bio: 

Hi, Vinay here. Enthusiastic blogger and writer. Loves to write on all topics, current trends and hot news.