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


  1. Amen. I enjoyed reading every word.

    Our greatest treasures are our family, friends, and teachers. One of my most influential teachers is now ill. Unfortunately, I had not told her what an important role she played in the formation of my life, until now. I wish I had told her sooner, but now she knows. BJ

  2. Thanks BJ; It's important to acknowledge our influences, and to be able to do it pesonally, really demonstrates our respect.

  3. Thought provoking. Perfect and cleaver ending. I will definitely be back.

  4. Stan,

    You could effectively write self-help books, your writing voice has that great inclination to make an impact in that genre. If you happen to speak in a leadership seminar, please invite me, I would be interested to attend. You could be a motivational coach and I bet you could bring out the best in people.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques


  5. powerful and thought provoking!!!

  6. Thanks to:
    Bella Rum; Who we become and what we achieve, are the product of those who influence us.
    Jeques; Self belief, and even doubts expressed by others can be motivation enough to prove your worth.
    Danni; I wanted to send a strong message - to another character in the story.

  7. I read this a couple of times and found it really interesting. I would take issue with your assertion that we all have the ability to be leaders. I don't think it's something that can be learned or aquired. An inborn ability can certainly be honed and steered, but I do believe the seed needed to have been sown at birth. Having said all that, it is a great read and a piece from which many would-be entreprenuers could benefit.

  8. i agree with the rest. we were molded by our 'teachers' and they can be our parents to ordinary citizens. thanks for reminding me to say thank you to them.

  9. Tks to:
    keithsramblings;This is an extract from a piece of fiction I wrote. Although some are my own views, it is a 'speech' designed to inspire confidence in it's 'target audience'. However, I must agree that some skills do come naturally, while others can be taught.
    totomai;I don't really think you needed reminding - you express your thanks in so many ways; but a personal word of gratitude to them is often what makes it all worth while.