When I was twenty-two years old, I ran for the local school board.
No one my age had ever made it through a primary in North Carolina, they told me. There are too many better-known candidates in the field, they consistently reminded me. The statistics show that young people just don’t do well in elections, they shared.
I’ve always been a bit stubborn, so I didn’t listen. And I made it through the primary.
One thing made all the difference:
Do you want to know the two underlying secrets of great leaders?
I learned them from a 2000-year-old Roman poet named Ovid. You may be familiar with his character, Pygmalion, from the play Metamorphoses.
Only when you believe in others can you change the world. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
The First Secret of Great Leaders
In his play, Pygmalion was a sculptor who was able to simply look at a piece of marble and see the sculpture inside of it. He could see the beauty inside of a piece of stone.
That’s the first secret of great leaders. Like Pygmalion, they can see the hidden potential inside of others that no one else can. They see the best in others, like Nelson Mandela.
You can’t make someone else want something as bad as you.
Or can you?
When you want something bad enough, it consumes your thoughts. You visualize it. You cut out pictures of what you want and put it on your bathroom mirror. You pray for it. You share your longing with others.
But you’ve been told that you can’t make others believe. If you are a leader, you’re told that no one will want what you want as bad as you want it. You’ve been told that you can’t make others see what you see.
“I believe in you.”
Those are four words that are not said enough by leaders. They are not said enough by parents, coaches, teachers, or team leaders.
Yet, those four words can bring out the very best in your team members, children, or students.
I believe in you. I am rooting for you. I know that you will accomplish this.
Belief in Action
In early 2006, I was a part of a four-person company. Naturally, I did nearly everything during my 16 hour days and my assistant did everything I didn’t do (mostly customer service and billing), but she did not do sales. That is until we absolutely needed her.