leadership: we did it ourselves

by Corey Kohn

A poor leader: the people fear. A good leader: the people love. A great leader: the people say, "we did it ourselves." -Sun Tzu


We ask each other a question every Friday at dojo4. It helps us understand ourselves each other better. Recently the question was: what makes an exemplary leader? This question starts to get at the heart of what leadership is. What does it mean to be a leader? How do we lead well in our own lives, not just for others but for ourselves. I thought the answers harvested for our motley crew worth sharing:

An exemplary leader...

  • has impeccable ethics.
  • projects calm at the center of the storm.
  • is someone who is not motivated by the desire to be liked, nor the fear of being disliked.
  • understands that there is one mountain, but many passes.
  • has integrity and the ability to hold a path in the face of adversity.
  • can communicate effectively the reasons why a decision was made.
  • will do the dirtiest work.