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  • James Lord

Four Guiding Principles of Leadership

We’ve all read famous quotes to help find a little inspiration from time to time. I recently reviewed Inc.’s list of 365 Best Inspirational Quotes for 2023. I distilled the list down to these final four to help capture some of the principles I strongly believe in that help us become better leaders for tomorrow. Like channel markers are designed to help keep boaters safe and on the right path, these principles are also tools that can help keep us focused and on the path to becoming better versions of ourselves for those we lead.

As leaders, it is important to understand that the path to success is not always a straightforward one. It is filled with challenges, obstacles, and failures. But it is how we handle these challenges that define our success.

As Helen Keller once said, "Life is a daring adventure, or it is nothing at all." We must embrace life and all of its ups and downs. Life is not meant to be lived in a safe and comfortable bubble; it's meant to be lived with passion, curiosity, and a sense of adventure. To truly lead, we must be willing to take risks and step out of our comfort zone. We must be willing to face our fears and chase our dreams.

As Vince Lombardi once said, "Success isn't determined by how many times you win, but by how you play the week after you lose." Success is not just measured by how many times we win but by how we handle losing and continue to push forward. When we encounter failure, it's easy to give up and throw in the towel. But true success is not about never failing; it's about how we handle those failures and use them as a learning opportunities. By developing resilience, we can bounce back from failure and continue to strive for our goals.

As Steve Jobs once said, "Ignore your mistakes. The number one thing to worry about is: Am I doing what I'm good at?" We should focus on our strengths and not dwell on our mistakes. Instead of dwelling on past failures, we should focus on what we are good at and continue to improve in those areas. When we focus on our strengths, we are able to achieve a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. We can also make a positive impact on the world by using our talents and abilities.

As Oprah Winfrey once said, "Opportunities don't happen. You create them." We must actively seek out opportunities and make them happen. We cannot sit around and wait for opportunities to come to us; we must actively pursue them. By taking the initiative and creating our own opportunities, we are able to shape our own future and achieve our goals.

To summarize, it is important to remember that life is a daring adventure; success is not just determined by how many times we win but by how we handle losing, we should focus on our strengths and not dwell on our mistakes, and we must actively seek out and create opportunities for ourselves. With these core principles as our channel markers, we can stay on the path to achieve better outcomes and to becoming great leaders.

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