The #1 Characteristic of Exceptional Leaders

Navigating your fishbowl and defining your leadership ability requires 4 skills:

  • Sacrifice
  • Empowerment
  • Love
  • Friendship

The last few blog posts have been about Sacrifice. Please see the previous posts:

Sacrifice, Seeds and Starvation

Sacrifice and Heroism

Leaders must sacrifice.  Following are examples of the way others have Sacrificed:

Transplant recipient struggles to go on after brother’s death


Miki Endo warned others of a dangerous tsunami


Dog dies saving drunken owner from oncoming train


These are stories of people and animals who have sacrificed their own lives and/or safety for others.  I don’t share these stories to suggest that leaders must be heroes.  All of us are put into positions of leadership at one time or another, and rarely do we have opportunity to be heroic.

However, I share these stories because the characteristic of sacrifice is important to be an exceptional leader.  Inspiring others can come only through self-sacrifice.

¤ “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. ” Joseph Campbell (1904-1987)

¤ “True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the courage to surpass others at whatever cost, but the courage to serve others at whatever the cost.”  Arthur Ashe (1943-1993)

¤ “Getting what you want is not nearly as important as giving what you have.” Tom Krause (born 1957)

True leaders sacrifice because they care about the success of those they lead.

What sacrifices have you, or other leaders made?

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