Quote of the Day – Adams on Leadership

John Quincy Adams“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

- John Quincy Adams

Am I a Leader?

Yesterday’s quote by Eisenhower explained what leadership is.  Today’s quote by John Quincy Adams gives us some indicators to determine whether or not we are leaders.  As one would expect, he tells us to look at our actions.  Note that he does not ask if we are in a position of authority.  He doesn’t ask if we own the business, run our departments, are the mayor, or are the captain of the team.  He asks if we inspire others.

As I noted previously, we do not need to be in a top position to be a leader.  Adams reinforces that here.

Do our actions inspire other to:

  • dream more
  • learn more
  • do more
  • become more

Some managers will look at this list and say “I tell my people to dream more!  I tell them to learn more!”  That is fine and well – but that is not leadership.  That is not inspiring others to action.

The major point to keep in mind here is that Adams is asking if our actions inspire others – but to determine whether or not we do, we need to look at their actions.  Do those around you dream more, learn more, do more, and become more due to the actions that you take?  The truth of our leadership is not indicated by us, but by those around us.

Quote of the Day – Series on Leadership


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