Bishop Fulton J. Sheen remarked, “Civilization is always in danger when those who have never learned to obey are given the right to command.”
Only a leader who has followed well knows how to lead others well.
2. Develop Self-Discipline
In “Decision of Character,” British essayist John Foster writes, “A man without decision of character can never be said to belong to himself. He belongs to whatever can make a captive of him.”
When we are foolish, we want to conquer the world. When we are wise, we want to conquer ourselves.
3. Practice Patience
Few worthwhile things in life come quickly.
• Microwave leaders don’t have any staying power. Leadership is more of a Crock-Pot proposition. It takes time, but the end product is worth the wait.
• Leaders need to remember that the point of leading is not to cross the finish line first. It’s to take people across the finish line with you.
4. Seek Accountability
People who lead themselves well know a secret: they can’t trust themselves.
• Lack of accountability in our personal life will certainly lead to problems in our public life.
• “When you see a good man, think of emulating him; when you see a bad man, examine your heart.” –Chinese proverb
• Leadership is a trust, not a right.
• “Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others, as what he does from day to day to lead himself.” –Thomas J. Watson
• When the leader doesn’t inspect himself, the people don’t respect him.
• Thomas J. Watson, the former chairman of IBM, said, “Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others, as what he does from day to day to lead himself.” The smallest crowd you will ever lead is you—but it’s the most important one.
From "Leadership Gold" by John Maxwell