Quote of the Day – Eisenhower on Leadership

Eisenhower on Leadership“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”

- Dwight D. Eisenhower

What is Leadership?

Continuing this week’s theme of Leadership, today’s quote is Dwight D. Eisenhower’s definition of what leadership is.  What we need to keep in mind is that there probably are as many definitions of leadership as their are leaders.  Since leadership is easier to recognize than define, most definitions will give us just one piece of the puzzle.  Over time, we can start to put together a fuller understanding of what leadership truly is.

Using Eisenhower’s definition, we could rephrase this as “leadership is the art of inspiring others to action”.  Instead of forcing people into compliance or getting things done despite a lack of desire – leadership gets things done because your people want to do it.  In this sense, leadership is based in large part on inspiration.  If you can inspire a drive – a fire – inside of somebody, that person will gladly do what needs to be done.

Does your leadership seek to inspire others?  The trick to answering that question is not to look at youself.  The trick is to look at the people you are leading: are they inspired?

Discussion about how to inspire others is a mystery for another day.  Tomorrow?  More thoughts on leadership!


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