A Running List of Sayings and Quotes On Mature Leadership

  • In my book, Ned Stark is the foremost fantasy authority on leadership. Ned demonstrates great leadership more in his actions than in his words, but he says some things which get to the root of leadership:
    • “Bran thought about it. ‘Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?’ ‘That is the only time a man can be brave,’ his father told him.” – A Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin
  • In terms of non-fictional leaders, we have a great example in Major Dick Winters, who led the EZ company of the 101st Airborne Divisions 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment in World War II:
    • Strive to be a leader of character, competence, and courage. Lead from the front. Say, “Follow me!” and then lead the way. Stay in top physical shape—physical stamina is the root of mental toughness. Develop your team. If you know your people, are fair in setting realistic goals and expectations, and lead by example, you will develop teamwork. Delegate responsibility to your subordinates and let them do their jobs. You can’t do a good job if you don’t have a chance to use your imagination or your creativity. Anticipate problems and prepare to overcome obstacles. Don’t wait until you get to the top of the ridge and then make up your mind. Remain humble. Don’t worry about who receives the credit. Never let power or authority go to your head. Take a moment of self-reflection. Look at yourself in the mirror every night and ask yourself if you did your best. True satisfaction comes from getting the job done. The key to a successful leader is to earn respect—not because of rank or position, but because you are a leader of character. Hang Tough!—Never, ever, give up.”Beyond Band of Brothers, Dick Winters
  • Experience has shown me that leadership opportunities come to those not seeking leadership, but seeking service instead. Jesus knows what’s up:
    • “Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the way?’ But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’ – Gospel of Mark, 9:33-35


James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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