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Bits and Pieces on Leadership

by Don Meyer, Ph.D. | June 26, 2010

"The best leaders, almost without exception and at every level, are master users of stories and symbols."
Tom Peters

Just the other day I received in the mail a little 24 page booklet titled, Bits and Pieces on Leadership. It immediately brought back a host of wonderful memories because years ago I received it regularly. Each month I would look forward to the stories and quotes and anecdotes on leadership which I could read in less than 30 minutes. Somehow my subscription had expired and I had lost track of that little resource. 

As soon as I could find the time, I looked inside and just like years ago, read these quotes and I was not disappointed. "The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything. They make the best of everything." (Anonymous) "Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever." (Napoleon Bonaparte) "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." (Anonymous) "He was a bold man who first ate an oyster." (Jonathan Swift) 

This booklet usually has some noteworthy life lessons which are applicable to anyone. Tom Kite, the former U.S. Open champion golfer gives this tip for golfers and non-golfers alike, "You can only play one hole at a time." The first step toward thinking like a pro is to "stay in the present." 

Kite and his sports psychologist, Dr. Bob Rotella, go on to recommend, "1. Resist the urge to add it up. Avoid thinking about breaking a personal record or blowing a lead. 2. Focus. Concentrate on hitting the great shots rather than worrying about bad ones or what others will think if you miss. 3. Keep your mind on the hole you're playing. Taking care of the present lets the future take care of itself."

When we are looking for information, most of us turn to the internet. Here are some questions found on the Internet. Why isn't phonetic spelling spelled the way it sounds? Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii? If you're in a vehicle going the speed of light, what happens when you turn on the headlights? Why is it when you transport something by car it's called a shipment and when your transport something by ship it's called cargo? Why is it that when you're driving and looking for an address you turn down the volume on the radio? 

Since our lives are very busy, I always appreciate words which challenge me to use time wisely. Thomas Mann said, "Hold fast the time! Guard it, watch over it, every hour, every minute! Unregarded it slips away like a lizard, smooth, slippery, faithless. Hold every moment sacred. Give each clarity and meaning, each the weight of thine awareness, each it's true and due fulfillment." 

I also like the practical life insights like this observation by Dr. Joyce Brothers, "There is a rule in sailing where the more maneuverable ship gives way to the less maneuverable ship. I think this is sometimes a good rule to follow in human relations as well." 

Then there is the old adage about the optimist seeing the glass half full and the pessimist seeing it half empty. What does the process re-engineer have to say about it? "Looks like you've got twice as much glass as you need there. "
Here are a few more quotes that caught my eye. "You're never as old as you're going to get." (Anonymous) "Don't be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can't cross a chasm in two small jumps." (David Lloyd George) "The two hardest things to handle in life are failure and success." (Anonymous) "The pessimist may be right in the long run, but the optimist has a better time during the trip." (Anonymous) 

For more information on Bits and Pieces, go to www.motivateandinspire.com

Here is one final bit: "If you really want to do something, you'll find a way; if you don't, you'll find an excuse." (Anonymous) 

Think about it.

Dr. Don Meyer is President of 
Valley Forge Christian College, Phoenixville, PA 
Responses can be mailed to president@vfcc.edu