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Leadership Inspiration for a Hot Day in August

Anyone Can Lead - Take Charge!This current week of challenge and opportunity is not yet half over, which means you still have a chance to make the most of it!

To keep your energy up and your outlook focused, here are a handful of leadership quotes to inspire you. (Our thanks to Dave Kerpen for putting a bunch of these in one article.)

“I’ll quit competing when my heart quits beating.” —Michael Jordan

No one has more control over what you achieve than you do. If hurdles obstruct your progress, find the course of action that gets you around them. It often goes through your boss’ office, so get in there and discuss the challenges and explore solutions.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” —Mark Twain

We have all experienced this. Failures stick with us longer than successes. So make sure your failures still take you in the direction of your goals. That way, the memory of failure is tied to success. What better way to ease the pain?

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” —John Quincy Adams

We think the essence of leadership is helping people make their own lives better, however you and they measure “better.” Talk to your superiors, subordinates and peers about what success means to them, to better understand their motivations.

“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” —Ralph Nichols

You cannot understand anyone unless you let them talk without interruption, and you withhold judgment until you explore situations together. That means you have to truly listen to and understand what they have to say, and ask questions until you do understand the issue from their perspective.

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” -Charles Swindoll

We teach this using the mnemonic E + R = O, or Event + Reponse = Outcome. You cannot control external events, but you can control your reaction to them. This leaves you in control of outcomes, and gives you the power to keep moving towards your desired outcomes regardless of the events that occur.

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates

This gets back to listening, doesn’t it? If you understand why you are losing business (the event), you know what response (creativity and innovation) you need to keep moving towards your outcome (profits, happiness, whatever.)

What other motivational thoughts have inspired you to keep your energy up, your actions forward-thinking and action-oriented? Which ones do you keep in view that constantly inspire you to “keep competing?”

We would love to hear what works for you!

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