Raise the Bar
I often talk about how leaders are called to raise the bar, increase the standard and create a higher plane of performance. Improvement!
Shouldn’t we all be striving to ultimately improve and increase our contribution? There are numerous examples of “regular people” who through improvement rose in the world and demonstrated a “not so regular” character. Here are three examples to inspire your Monday morning.
- President Lincoln is known to have engaged in a systematic regimen of self-improvement. He is famous for saying, “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.”
- Benjamin Franklin also engaged in a systematic regimen of self-improvement. Franklin is famous for attempting “moral perfection” which he pursued through his 13 Virtues regimen.
- Gandhi relentlessly pursued improvement. Most of his writings are interpreted and edited by Louis Fischer. He 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.”
Gandhi never held office; never had a position or a title but by developing himself he transformed himself and his country, leading India to independence.
All these great leaders took criticism, setbacks and unpopularity to a new level of resilience. They raised the Bar.
They did not disparage the criticism of the day. Rather, they used it to mend and develop toward creating an improved tomorrow and they did it on their own time and their own dime! Now that’s raising the bar!