All his life, they taught him that it is always better to be alone as a leader than part of the crowd as a follower. Until this point, assuming that role had always been the natural decision. Emulate the good example of those over him and he would not, he could not fail. However as he progressed through his life, the trail from those above him grew lighter and the footprints of those on the right path fewer. The time had come for him to advance, to press forward into this hazy world alone with only the recollection of all he had been trained. He must remember those lessons and learn new ones along the way. He must be sharpen his mind, body, and spirit, or risk failure and cast those lifelong principles to the dust. Looking back, he recalls those principles that define leadership.
Leaders lead lonely lives, always from the front. They must always see the big picture yet never feel the comfort of the enveloping warmth by those coinciding with another’s will. They must draw their strength from another place: somewhere higher than the masses that emulate their every move like sheep. They have great responsibility and sharp consciences of not only their own but the ones that look up to them. They must never misstep for fear of their subordinates deviating in the same way, compounding their mistake times a thousand. Every action, whether fair or dire, mirrors itself, rippling the effects across a wide plane and resounding into the future.
The leader is the one who consoles, provides, dictates, and guides. He is the one who must show justice and mercy, speak truth, and expose lies. He must give of himself wholly yet expect naught but that gratifying feeling that comes from helping those who cannot do so for themselves. He must be patient, kind, and understanding, yet swift, firm, and decisive. He must wield his authority as a double edge sword, using his power to swiftly discipline and instruct those in the wrong yet using that same influence just as promptly to protect those in his charge.
The leader must be well taught and intelligent. He must know more about himself than anyone else, yet be content to contain that knowledge in the deepest places reserved for his use alone. He must know his situation and capabilities thoroughly and completely, yet never show apprehension when he is overwhelmed. He must know more about those in his care than they themselves will ever know, yet be prudent enough to use that knowledge delicately and wisely. He must understand the past and predict the future, yet place both into perspective for optimum use in the present.
The leader must be resourceful and prudent. He must use every available opportunity to better himself and his people. They will not discover him squandering valuable assets nor will they see him permit his followers to do so either. He accepts all forms of assistance but that which could injure him or his care. He will never consider failure. Instead of saying, “It cannot be done” he says, “How can it be done?” There is always a way. He creates opportunity out of apparent disaster and makes highways of impassible situations. His people can trust him, no matter how ominous their position appears, to lead them to success.
The leader must be focused and determined. He does not look to the left or right distracting himself from the task. Yet he pushes on, meeting every adversity with a fierceness and resilience that his people admire and respect. If he fails, he sees not a failure, but a chance to return and attack his assignment with twice the superior tactics and three times the vigor as before. He thereby proves himself and uplifts his follower’s spirits to levels even higher than before. They see this and are confident not only in their leader but also in themselves as well. They will follow him wholly and unconditionally for they know that he will never lead them anywhere he would not himself go first.....
To be continued...
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