LEADERS - not followers

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Extraordinary Mysterious

For Matinee Muse 16 – Extraordinary Determination
Writers Island 4 – Mysterious


2. Whatever Happened To…?

The great man took the stand to address his audience.
With a confidence that is the product of a lifetime of success, he delivered his speech.

“Somebody once said to me: ‘If you want to know the shortest and surest way to fame and fortune, follow this simple guide: It’s not what you know that’s important, it’s who you know’.
I’m sure this is an expression that we’re all familiar with.
I carried these apparent words of wisdom around with me for years, believing that they made total sense; all the while, acquainting myself with the most influential people around me. For sure, I made some good friends, who, no doubt were able to help me in small ways. But it wasn’t until I reached adulthood and realised that I had acquired neither fame nor fortune, that I took stock of my situation and eventually came to the following conclusion:
It’s neither who you know nor what you know that counts, but rather, how you use what you know that will ultimately determine your true value in terms of both fame and fortune.
If something needs to be done and you are able to complete it in the most effective and efficient manner, then this is a clear example of your own character sending you on your way to earning a reputation. As a consequence, other people will begin to respect you. The more original you can be, the more of yourself you can apply to, or express in your actions, the more your reputation will be enhanced. People will trust you; have faith in you.
But did I hear someone say ‘Faith can move mountains!’?
Not so, sir. Faith is for followers, not leaders. Leaders have confidence and character and it is leaders who get things done. It is character, not faith that moves mountains, or indeed, any obstacle that crosses our paths. Strength of faith is merely an affirmation of our belief in what we follow. Strength of character is the true measure of an effective leader.
And believe it or not, we all have the potential to become leaders. We all possess character, to some degree. In some people, it can be more apparent than in others, because it is our perception of character that determines how we measure it in others. But in order to strengthen our own characters, we have to remember the words of our teachers, so that we may effectively use what we already know.
When I say ‘teachers’, I’m not just referring to our formal educational instructors, but to all the people we’ve met who have influenced us.
Think about it for a moment.
True enough, we learnt many things at school, but our greatest, most valuable lessons were learnt at home, in the playing fields and on the streets.
Our teachers? Parents, family, friends.
I have the greatest respect for all these people. They shaped my thoughts, my dreams...my life.
Unfortunately, a great many of them are no longer with us and I miss them all terribly. My finest teachers are among them; my grandparents and the most precious treasures of my life, my parents; God bless them. My respect for these people in particular, is absolute and unconditional.
The mere thought that I may one day accumulate their collective, supreme wisdom, together with the knowledge that it is my duty to pass this wisdom on to others, causes me to tremble.
To those of little faith and weak character, who are content to follow; know this:
My critics have often chosen one of two words to form negative assessments of my achievements and these words have remained my lifelong companions, because, paradoxically, I’ve come to realise just how appropriately they describe the events that have led to my greatest successes. The words are ‘irony’ and ‘metaphor’. Those who know me personally will appreciate their significance and will be able to develop these words into the idiom that best answers my critics and best summarises my current situation…….Poetic Justice.”

Extract from: ‘A FETISH FOR FRUSTRATION’ Copyright © Stanislaw Skibinski