Thursday, February 19, 2009

Article 1 of 6: Introduction

...Bo Short

This is the first in a series of six articles that are designed to challenge you to become your best; to become the best leader you can possibly become and to understand how crucial it is that you live your life to win.

I have had the great honor of spending time in the company of some of this nation’s great success stories; men and women that have overcome obstacles much greater than you and I will probably ever face in our lifetime. Some have led our nation, some companies, and then there are those like Eric Weinmeyer, who was able to summit Mount Everest. By the way, beyond the rarity of this feat, Eric is totally blind.

As you and I have heard their stories and witnessed many of these accomplishments we have been inspired to achieve beyond our own expectations. Having personally met them and spent time with many of them, it is my contention that their accomplishments were simply their ability to summon their “best effort” for an extended period of time. While each one of these individuals is flawed, they found within themselves the ability to lead, inspire others, and make a difference in the world.

What are these principles of leadership that these people have found within themselves that have given rise to their being recognized as great success stories? During the course of my time with people like this I would suggest that there are five basic principles of leadership. Principles that, if nurtured, will not only change your life but will have a profound impact on the people around you.

These principles are: Vision, Courage, Perseverance, Responsibility and Character.

During the course of your reading these articles it is not my intention to make you just feel good about your potential. Nor is it my purpose to simply tell you that you can make your dreams come true. I want to challenge you, to dare you to step out from the crowd and embrace your future… to do something great with your life. You risk too much if you do not. We live in a time where we are all to accepting of the premise that:

It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose it’s how you play the game.

I, for one, could not disagree more. Please understand that playing with integrity is critical. In fact, if you have to cheat to declare victory then you have not won at all. Playing with character is paramount to lasting success. However, I contend that it does matter if you win or lose. I believe that your life depends on it.

Excelling in all areas of your life, including family, health, spiritual, and financial brings abundant rewards. Failing can be devastating.

In the news you hear about children’s soccer leagues that have instituted a “no scoring” policy. High schools that have decided to recognize numerous valedictorians, as well as, multiple homecoming kings and queens. In this move to protect peoples “feelings,” we are lowering the performance bar and finding “less” to be acceptable. While turning our attention to pass/fail exams we are overlooking a very important fact. That is simply this; life keeps score. It rewards those who win.

Coming Next: The role of VISION in pursuit of success.