Today’s Coaching: Personal Development: If this title interests you or resonates, kudos! You are in good company.
When we look back and connect the dots on the developmental efforts of some of the greatest leaders of all time, we see the common thread that made them great. Through struggle and triumph they developed themselves. No one has Mastery from the get-go. Struggles, challenges, difficulties and dysfunction calls up the need for internal strength, character, integrity, composure, self confidence, self awareness…the list of Personal Development goes on………………
Every great leader struggles on the road to greatness. Let’s look at three examples
Gandhi was an angry young man with a temper until he developed himself.
Louis Fischer interpreted Gandhi’s journals and wrote most of what’s out there about Gandhi’s life. Fisher writes, “Gandhi was a terribly passionate young man full of anger and at times had a bursting, hot temper. But Gandhi trained his inner being, guarded his heart and transformed his passions.”
Abraham Lincoln taught himself how to read and he taught himself the field of law by borrowing books. His father hated books and wanted big strong Abe to be a farm hand. While Lincoln taught and developed himself, he had to dodge insults and affronts from his father. All the while he built character as well as intellectual knowledge.
Lincoln also developed himself more deeply—from a young attorney who criticized and wrote letters attacking his opponents to the leader who created and became a model of the quote, “with malice toward none, with charity for all.”
Benjamin Franklin: It is difficult to discuss the origin of America without mentioning the self-taught Franklin.
What is not well known is that Franklin struggled early on. A young Benjamin Franklin, full of arrogance, was headed for an unsuccessful future and social isolation due to his social blundering, arguing and habit of criticism. A Quaker friend said Franklin was proud and it showed in frequent conversations. It wasn’t enough to be right in his arguments. Franklin often became overbearing and insolent.
— From this information Franklin created “rules” for himself and he developed and lived into this quote, “I will speak ill of no man.”
The leaders who succeed at greatness truly are the unselfish few who recognize that the effort of development is dwarfed by the value created.