Of Sheep and Lions | Leadership Advice from Alexander the Great

Are you a lion or a sheep?

What about your team? Are they lions or sheep?

Regardless of whether your team is full of lions, sheep, or aardvarks, you…YOU need to be a lion. A lion can lead anyone, as Alexander the Great said nearly 2500 years ago:

So I ask you again, which are you? A lion or a sheep?

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You can always be a lion

If you have a team, be a lion. Lead them with passion and fierce determination. They will follow you.

If you don’t have a team, show passion and fierce determination and people will follow you. Remember leadership is influence, not position.

There is a lion inside you waiting to get out. And only you know what that lion looks like.

It’s time to unleash that lion.

A list would ruin it

I thought about making a list now. 7 ways to be a leadership lion. But that would take an otherwise inspiring post and turn it into boring drivel.

You know how to be a lion. It’s all in your attitude. It’s all about:

  • Passion
  • Desire
  • Determination
  • Loyalty
  • Unleashing yourself

Be a lion today. It just might be the first day of a life in leadership.

How can you be a lion today?

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  • Let’s Grow Leaders

    just be careful how you roar.

    • I’ve met some very powerful leaders who have never roared. :)

      • Let’s Grow Leaders

        me too. I’m not much of a roarer.

  • Ali Anani

    Matt- you roared carefully. May be I did not.

    BTW: I dedicated this presentation to you because you roar wisdom


  • Great post. I love that quote by Alexander the Great.
    How can I be a lion today? Don’t be afraid of others…what I mean by that is don’t be afraid of what others think to the point that I silence my thoughts, opinions and my art (Ok, I give in, I’m reading Seth Godin right now…so art is on my mind!)

    • Icarus Deception?

      I am re-reading it right now actually. Great book.

      • No. Linchpin. It’s the first Seth Godin book I’ve read…and I’m loving it!

        • Read this one next: http://amzn.to/1ayvLH9

          Then Purple Cow.

          Mix it up with some other books though. I’ve found that if you read nothing but Godin, you get really good at thinking like Seth Godin, not thinking for yourself. Could just be me though.

  • I’ve never thought of myself as a leader in the traditional sense. But when I look at your list, I have the traits of a lion. Interesting. Good post, Matt.

  • Awesome Paul. Now go put it into action! :)

  • ROAR!

    • Translation= you provide daily inspiration to help challenges and dreams look exciting and not daunting. I’ve been working on some things and I found that in the past 10 years I’ve switched from a timid, comfortable life to an exciting, adventurous one. It’s lots of fun!

      • That’s awesome Lily!! Keep it up!

      • I second @marksieverkropp:disqus’s comment! That is awesome!

        • And I second Matt’s comment about seconding my comment! (Is that ‘thirding’ my comment or ‘fourthing’???)

  • You should check out the Lion Chasers Manifesto by Mark Batterson:

    “Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set
    God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is
    destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions.
    Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and
    become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating
    the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your
    horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse
    you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first
    day and last day of your life. Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you
    from worshiping what’s right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new
    trails. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and
    more about what God thinks. Don’t try to be who you’re not. Be
    yourself. Laugh at yourself. Don’t let fear dictate your decisions. Take
    a flying leap of faith. Chase the lion!”
    See more at:

  • Katherine Leicester

    Winston Churchill said this about courage: “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality that guarantees all the others.”

    That’s how I’m going to be a lion today, and every day: COURAGE.

    And Matt, isn’t it always a tussle trying to keep the motivation in a post, then trying to add the tips and techniques to it without destroying the narrative? I’m rapidly becoming convinced that I need to keep the two ideas separate–short posts for inspiration, longer posts with the “7 steps” for a guide similar to the pilot’s pre-flight checklist.

    • Good point on the posts.

      It definitely takes courage to be a leader. Only courageous leaders can make the difficult decisions.