In a letter dated April 1887, John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton, described his concerns about the church and the monarchy:
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.”
Once again, history repeats. But does it have to?
Josh Phegan, Australia’s number one real estate coach, and I, have discussed the subject of leadership at length and concluded that the very best demonstrate two attributes: Hunger and Humility. Many leaders start out with these traits, but unfortunately lose their appetite as they become successful and then, much worse, become arrogant, often as a consequence of believing their own publicity and, by being treated as superior, even deified by their employees.
In his bestselling book, ‘Good to Great’, Jim Collins described leaders who attained what he calls “level 5” as:
“…incredibly ambitious, but their ambition is first and foremost for the cause, for the organisation and its purpose, not themselves. While Level 5 leaders can come in many personality packages, they are often self-effacing, quiet, reserved, and even shy. Every good-to-great transition in our research began with a Level 5 leader who motivated the enterprise more with inspired standards than inspiring personality.”
At this time, we have far too many examples of not just poor but appalling leadership, however, there are also many outstanding individuals who are quietly going about their business, building great teams and delivering superb results.
Note that they’re quiet; empty vessels make the most noise.
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