A crucial hidden truth of leadership is…

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The bottom line for leaders is they want to lead well and want to produce victories. Whether it’s in sports, or business, or in the arts, leaders want their teams to be successful.

Because of that desire to “win”, the truth is that a leader might not really like a person, or people on their team, but are willing to tolerate them because of their talent.

So, what does that mean for you and I?  First of all, it means, as I mention so often in these posts, always try to be your best. Don’t worry about what’s in your future, but concentrate on being your best in all you do—today!  With that “continuous improvement” mindset , whether it’s in business, or personally, you will be amazed at the doors of opportunity that will open up for you in the future, as leaders look for people who have the abilities to solve their problems and help them achieve successes.

Second of all, as your talent improves in whatever area you’re concentrating, you do not have permission to act like a jerk.  Yeah, your skill level will open doors of opportunity, but understand that people will only go so far in their desire to win.   If your personal morals, or personality are so “over the top” offensive, you will be asked to leave the team because the annoyance and frustration of working alongside you outweighs the positive feelings that come from team success.

Let me share a story with you that illustrates this principle of people overlooking their own hesitance with liking a person, but seeking that talented person out to help them with their difficulties.

There once was a man named Jephthah.  He was the son of a woman who was not his dad’s wife.   As he got older, his half-brothers, the sons born to his father and his father’s wife, basically turned on Jephthah (as well as the elders in the community), and kicked him out of their town because of Jephthah’s illegitimate birth.

However, Jephthah was a mighty warrior and developed quite a reputation for his battlefield successes. As years went on, Jephthah’s home town, Gilead was being attacked. The leaders of the community realized the weaknesses in their defense and in desperation sought out Jephthah to be their military leader and to help them defend their town.  It seems like the people in Gilead were willing to put aside their previous criticisms of Jephthah because of their desperation for his help with their current problem.  Jephthah told them if they would accept him back in to their community he would help them. The town’s leaders accepted his offer and Jephthah, did in fact lead them to victory.

So, to summarize the heart of this post, it’s this:  First of all, your character matters in all you do. Please don’t limit any opportunities you have because of offensive things you do to alienate others.  Second of all, strive to be your best and fight the urge to want “success” now. Continue to be the very best you can be.  Rather than focusing your energies in dreaming of the future, concentrate on developing your skills, and trust that in time,  the opportunities will find you.  I believe they will.

Note:  The story of Jephthah is told in “The Book of Judges”- chapter 11 (in the Bible)

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