“The curse of every ancient civilization was that its men in the end became unable to fight. Materialism, luxury, safety, even sometimes an almost modern sentimentality, weakened the fibre of each civilized race in turn; each became in the end a nation of pacifists, and then each was trodden under foot by some ruder people that had kept the virile fighting power the lack of which makes all other virtues useless and sometimes even harmful.”
— President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt (can’t find a specific attribution)
Reminds me of this prior Phriday Filosophy.
I was reading a post on LinkedIn (100 Leadership Quotes) the other day which afforded me the opportunity to add in with three thoughts on leadership that I have. Presented for your consideration. A lot of good thoughts in there, about which I may well further opine.
But then, I added 101-103 (which I will edit slightly from the original posting as I realized I could have parsed them a little better):
101. The greatest goal to which a leader can aspire is to build an organization that continues to thrive and grow after the leader in question is gone. Such an organization requires, by definition, people with the capacity to replace that original leader. Anyone can create a paradise for the time that they are there; what happens when they are gone?
102. A-Level leaders hire A-Level people. B-Level people hire C-Level people. What’s the difference? An A-Level leader understands that their role is no longer as a <function> but rather as a leader of a group of people doing <function>. They shine with success when their team shines. A B-Level person is constantly in fear that a subordinate might, someday, prove more worthy of being in their chair than they are – so they never hire someone that might supplant – let alone eclipse – them.
103. A leader understands the value of being decisive. Every decision is made in the face of imperfect and sometimes contradictory data, and with the clock ticking. While due consideration and gathering of input from diverse sources is important, ultimately, a decision needs to be made, and in a timely manner, i.e., not letting every option but one die and then calling that only remaining possibility a “decision”. And, when that decision is made, the leader must own the responsibility for that decision.
(c) 2016, David Hunt, PE
— Walter Lippmann
There is NO DECISION that will be made – ever! – with perfect information. All decisions are made with incomplete and very often contradictory information. Thus, there is no such thing as a risk-free anything.
“The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.”
― George Orwell