“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” —Theodore Roosevelt
As with everything in life, moderation, balance, and common sense is essential. And just as being an amped-up, over-aggressive commander is counterproductive to the mission, so is being too calm and passive. It’s a large grey area, for sure, but harmony can be achieved if practiced and prioritized.STAY FIRED UP, and find your Command Zen.
Passion is a powerful thing! When combined with motivation, it can move mountains and blaze the skies—it can, and has, literally changed the world. However, passion can be fragile when not supported by those who do not share your desire to continually learn and improve. The ones who consistently drag their feet, complain, back-stab, and undermine your efforts can be an anchor on your motivation to push forward. It takes hard work; it takes leading by example; it takes relentless perseverance; and it takes showing the way, even when it appears no one is looking (they’re watching, trust me). Don’t allow those who drag behind to extinguish your flame of passion!
STAY FIRED UP, and don’t let the recliner slugs suck you into the sofa!
I desperately wanted to be two things growing up, a rock guitar legend and… a rock guitar legend! I’ve been playing guitar since I was 10-years-old and I just knew that I was destined to be playing in packed arenas around the globe, with a legions of adoring fans chanting my name, throwing undergarments onto the stage, and playing air guitar while I shredded my latest virtuoso under the bright lights of a stage! One tiny problem with that ambition – I could never play that well! No matter how much I practiced, my fingers could never make the magic that Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhoads made so effortlessly. I could play the notes, but I couldn’t make the music! That’s a hard lesson for a young man to learn when he knew it was his destiny to be a Guitar God.
There are times when our ambition gets the best of our common sense and pragmatic reality. Just as not everyone can be Stevie Ray Vaughan, not everyone is management material – regardless of your career aspirations and dogged determination. That’s not to say you can’t be a leader, because you can and should – just don’t let the thought of setting in the C-Suite blind you of your true motives. There are enough paper pushing, self-centered, career building, self-promoting, incompetent managers – we don’t need more.
Do it for the RIGHT reasons, not because you believe you’re the chosen one. Promotion should be about putting yourself in a position to better serve others, not so they can serve you.