Leadership can be defined as the act of motivating people to achieve a common goal. It is doing the right thing for the right reasons. It is taking action, no matter the consequences. It is subordinating self for something much bigger. It is the act of rallying people to accomplish things together which they could not necessarily do by themselves. It is ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary things. Leadership is vision, purpose, courage, discipline and passion. It is not who we are but what we do. Leadership is an ACTION verb!
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security....
Think of the leadership involved in crafting these words. Think of the courage involved with putting one's name at the bottom, declaring a willingness to die for one's convictions. Think of the leadership that the signers exhibited in creating this shared vision and then inspiring a Nation to join them.
On this American Independence Day, let us remember that leadership is an action verb. Sometimes...it can change the "course of human events." That's...Leader Business!
Thanks to Dan McCarthy for including this post in the July Leadership Development Carnival over at Great Leadership!
Image courtesy of www.friendsacrossamerica.com