I’ve been talking about leadership a lot lately. It’s an interesting topic because the qualities that create a great leader are sometimes difficult to define. The concept of emotional intelligence has become better understood in recent years and there are some good books on the subject. Great leaders have vision, integrity, good communication skills, and tend to be above most things that are petty. But the quality I admire the most in leaders is grit – people who persevere and just find a way to get things done. They don’t wait for instructions or direction; they know what needs to be done and they find a way to get it done. This is the ultimate form of leading by example. It is usually not the smartest or the most skilled people who rise to the top, it’s the people who are the problem solvers. The people who rise to their challenges and who are at their best when their best is needed. People spend a lot of time and money educating themselves and honing their skills, but very few of them focus on the skill that will take them the farthest, which is true leadership. Find a good book on leadership, deploy what you learn, and become conscience of whether you are becoming the type of leader who you would want to follow. Unlike other skills, leadership is not something you can turn on and off. To be a true leader, you have to be on all of the time. It’s a lifestyle choice, but one that will pay dividends in your life.
People sometimes get me wrong. They think that because I talk a lot about giving back and living modestly, I must not care about money. On the contrary, I care a lot about money because I understand how our system works.
We live in a capitalistic society. Economics drives everything. We work hard and we have more money to provide for our families and do the things we want. But what actually makes us happy? Some of us spend our lives looking for that answer and never find it. Some look for it in church, others pay life coaches, and some think the more money they have the happier they will be.
I teach my kids that they can do anything if they put their minds to it and do the work. I also teach them that life isn’t always fair, but you can’t let that deter you. I think we all try to teach our kids the value of grit and hard work. For most people, success is about perseverance and overcoming obstacles.