Washington’s 1st Principles of Exec Leadership excerpt

In 1789, much of America recognized the need for presidential authority and energetic leadership despite the ever-present alarm over the potentially abusive power or weak corruptibility of the office. Nothing signaled these apprehensions over the presidency more than the unanimous election of universally trusted George Washington as the new nation’s first president. To his credit, Washington understood this. Although his celebrity encouraged an elite court-like atmosphere wherever he went, Washington counteracted these tendencies early on with his opposition to a regal title. During the title controversy, he brought to his leadership both a widely admired perspective of republican reserve and a willingness to take cues from the people. By consciously mirroring the views of the majority of his countrymen and women, who disdained regal titles as he did, he encouraged public acceptance of the presidency, which added political legitimacy to the office and the new national government.

Source: George Washington’s First Principles of Executive Leadership | U.S. Capitol Historical Society

Vision, Hope, and Leadership

Part of a chapter in my book, Lost & Found

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Planning Change

Many groups lack the foresight or level of planning required to take an organization beyond the early stages of development. For some, that’s fine; they may not need to have long-range planning. However, if an organization wants to make a real impact on its little portion of the world (a.k.a. mission and vision statements), they have to get past the initial push of enthusiasm and break out of the limitations implicit in working without a plan. But even with a plan, organizations require far more than goals.

Sometimes this can happen through fortunate circumstances or enormous effort on the part of the whole organization to keep things growing organically. I’ve seen this and it is wondrous and rare turn of events. For the rest, it means either the organization will hobble along, perhaps doing OK and sustaining itself on generous donations of time and effort, or they begin the other natural result, dissolution. This can happen slowly, even imperceptibly, over a long period of time; usually, the money or volunteers or both dry up. The stalwart few hold on to the remnants as long as is humanly possible, but unfortunately this rarely works in the long run.

Hope as an Intangible Asset

Hope is one of those intangible assets that can never be measured, bought, or borrowed. It must be present and sustained by those in the position to provide leadership and vision. Hope is like water; it can easily run through the metaphorical fingers of an organization if it’s not contained with some degree of effort on the part of those whose mission and therefore job it is. Equally unfortunate, for leadership of almost every kind, two common issues arise. One is to take the job too seriously; the other is to take oneself too seriously. For me, this has been truly been a life lesson.

A new nonprofit is being created to assist Native Americans in dealing with the aftermath of integration into American society and cultures, often without any real help from the agencies that supposedly were designed to fill this role. The main problem with any governmental agency is that it becomes a victim of its own ideas of rules and efficiencies and of course, the bureaucracy inherent in their very structure. So this nonprofit will step up to the proverbial plate.

A Leader’s Heart

Though this leader’s heart can sometimes be burdened by doubt, it is never without an unflagging sense of hope. This has been my lesson and gift from my participation in this process. There was a TV episode where one character was warned of false hope. The quick and heated retort was that there is no such thing as false hope; there is only hope or no hope; it can never be anything in between.

Envisioning Hope

May I offer that hope is at the heart of our outlook on life? If we have no hope that things are or will soon be better, we will find ourselves in a downward spiral of depression and ultimately failure. However, by focusing—in the mind’s eye—on what may seem to be a false hope to the more pragmatic of us, especially in those of us in a leadership position, we successfully keep success an illusion. In other words, it truly is folly. Vision keeps the eye focused on the true goal of the mission’s success, but, it’s the recognition that in keeping hope alive and well, our success is assured. That’s as true in business as it is in life.

© 2016 DeBrady.biz

Excerpted from Lost & Found: Finding the Lost “I AM” Within You, Chapter 17, Guidance for Living in the New 5D World

Vision, Hope and Leadership (excerpt)

View of distant mountain through filtered sunlight
Vision is not merely a viewpoint or eyesight...it is focused awareness.

Many groups lack the foresight or level of planning required to take an organization beyond the early stages of development. For some, that’s fine; they may not need to have long-range planning. However, if an organization wants to make a real impact on their little portion of the world (aka, Mission and Vision Statements), they have to get past the initial blush of enthusiasm and break out of the limitations implicit in working without a plan. But, even with a plan, organizations require far more than that.

Sometimes, through fortunate circumstances or enormous effort on the part of the whole organization to keep things growing organically (I’ve seen this happen…it’s a wondrous and RARE turn of events). For the rest, it means either the organization will hobble along, perhaps doing okay and sustaining itself on generous donations of time and effort, OR, they begin the other natural result…dissolution. This can happen slowly, even imperceptibly, over a long period of time; usually, the money or volunteers…or both…dry up. The stalwart few hold on to the remnants as long as is humanly possible; unfortunately, this rarely works in the long run.

So, back to my theme of Vision, Hope and Leadership, it may take a village to raise a child, but it takes careful planning, strong, consistent vision and stellar leadership to navigate the rivers of business success. Without hope, however, no amount of planning, leadership or even money, will assure success. This is especially true of the not-for-profit business venture. I have noticed, over the course of my tenures with various Boards, past and present, that when hope flags, so does the organization. The question naturally arises: how does an organization maintain a healthy dose of hope?

Hope is one of those intangible assets which can never be measured, bought or borrowed.  It must be present and sustained by those in the position to provide leadership and vision. Hope is like water, it can easily run through the metaphorical “fingers” of an organization if it’s not contained with some degree of effort on the part of those whose mission—and, therefore, “job”—it is. Equally unfortunate, for leadership of almost every kind, two common issues arise. One is to take the “job” too seriously; the other is to take oneself too seriously. For me, this has been truly been a life lesson.