Leadership Paradoxes

Climbing in Colorado – Picture by John McKeel

 These Leadership Paradoxes were given to me years ago by one of the finest elders I ever knew, Bob Denney. Bob was a captain on Admiral Hewitt’s staff in the second world war, led the rescue of the American POWs near Nagasaki just after the second nuclear bomb was dropped (eventually Bob died from cancer — probably from that exposure). He was also the first television weatherman and a contractor. Truly an amazing man and a superb Christian leader. See if these Paradoxes don’t inspire you too:

  • People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.
  • If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Do good anyway.
  • If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
  • The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
  • Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.
  • The biggest men with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men with the smallest ideas. Think big anyway.
  • People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
  • What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.
  • People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help them anyway.
  •  Give the world the best you have, and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best anyway.

The value in an action lies, not in the response it will receive, but in the quality of the action itself. Doing what is right, because it is right and honors God, is abundantly worthwhile, whether or not it is understood, appreciated, or reciprocated.

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