Hats off to this man who retired as Judge of Madras High Court last week.

A Judge, who


– did not want the red capped, silver mace bearing “Diwali” to announce his arrival  which was seen as a symbol of Power and Authority


-did not want red beacon in his car


-surrendered a sub-inspector ranked personal security guard 


– did not want to be addressed as “My Lord” in courts


– who had disposed off 96,000 cases in 6 years – Many judges did not touch even 50% of this number.


– who had surrendered his official car in the Morning of retirement and travelled in suburban train for going back home


– Did  not accept  any post retirement jobs such as Supreme court judge, Tribunals, Commissions etc.


Did not accept farewell and dinner in a star hotel – last occasion any Judge refused a farewell was in 1929. 


– One among the first judges to declare his assets to Chief Justice. On the day of retirement once again declared his assets to the Chief Justice. 


– at the entrance of his official chamber, a notice was seen ” No deities- No flowers, No one is hungry-No fruits, No one is shivering – No shawls.


– Some of his landmark judgementsare

Women can become priests in temples 

there should be common Burial ground irrespect of caste 

For staging plays, police permission not required 

there should be community based reservation in noon meal centres. 


In the world of Mohantys and Raja Bhaiyas every Indian can be proud of this exceptionally exceptional man who has restored the faith in Judiciary.

Source: The Hindu / 09.03.2013



The Gandhi Salt March 1930


In 1930 in order to help free India from British control, Mahatma Gandhi proposed a non-violent march protesting the British Salt Tax, continuing Gandhi’s pleas for civil disobedience.The Salt Tax essentially made it illegal to sell or produce salt, allowing a complete British monopoly.Since salt is necessary in everyone’s daily diet, everyone in India was affected.The Salt Tax made it illegal for workers to freely collect their own salt from the coasts of India, making them buy salt they couldn’t really afford.


Before embarking on the 240-mile journey from Sabarmati to Dandi, Gandhi sent a letter to the Viceroy himself, forewarning their plans of civil disobedience


The Salt March started a series of protests, closing many British shops and British mills.A march to Dharshana resulted in horrible violence.The non-violent satyagrahis did not defend themselves against the clubs of policemen, and many were killed instantly.The world embraced the satyagrahis and their non-violence, and eventually enabled India to gain their freedom from Britain.

Thomas Jefferson


(Born April 13, 1743, at Shadwell, Virginia; died July 4, 1826, Monticello)


Thomas Jefferson – author of the Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, third president of the United States, and founder of the University of Virginia – voiced the aspirations of a new America as no other individual of his era. As public official, historian, philosopher, and plantation owner, he served his country for over five decades.


Having attended the College of William and Mary, Jefferson practiced law and served in local government as a magistrate, county lieutenant, and member of the House of Burgesses in his early professional life. As a member of the Continental Congress, he was chosen in 1776 to draft the Declaration of Independence, which has been regarded ever since as a charter of American and universal liberties. The document proclaims that all men are equal in rights, regardless of birth, wealth, or status, and that the government is the servant, not the master, of the people.


Jefferson was succeeded as president in 1809 by his friend James Madison, and during the last seventeen years of his life, he remained at Monticello. During this period, he sold his collection of books to the government to form the nucleus of the Library of Congress. Jefferson embarked on his last great public service at the age of seventy-six, with the founding of the University of Virginia. He spearheaded the legislative campaign for its charter, secured its location, designed its buildings, planned its curriculum, and served as the first rector.



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Mikhail Gorbachev 


Mikhail Gorbachev was general secretary of the Soviet Union Communist Party from 1985-1991. He was also the first democratically elected President in 1990.


Mikhail Gorbachev played a key role in dismantling the Communist grip on power in both the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. His aspirations for democracy and reform opened up the way for the end of the Cold War and the bringing down of the Berlin Wall. He was removed from Presidential office in 1991, during a failed coup attempt. Since leaving office, Gorbachev has worked tirelessly promoting new efforts at social justice and concern for the environment through his own organisation the Green Cross. Mikhail Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October 1990


Gorbachev was born in March 1931 in Stavropol, the North Caucuses to a poor peasant family. At the age of 11, the district was occupied by the Germans for three years, a torrid time for all in the village. In 1950 he enrolled at Moscow university where he became a member of the Soviet Union Communist party. It was here that Gorbachev met his future wife, Raisa Maximova, they married soon after meeting. After gaining a degree in law, Gorbachev made much progress within the Communist party.


In 1980 he was the youngest politburo member and in 1985 he was elected General Secretary of the Communist Party. At first Gorbachev was relatively unknown but he soon gave an indication that he wished to reform society. In particular he announced two key policies, Perestroika and Glasnost.

Perestroika involved reforming the economy and opening it up to market forces.

Glasnost involved political reform. This involved freedom of religious expression and individual liberties; it paved the way for democracy and for many political prisoners to be released. It was particularly significant for the Eastern Block. When eastern European economies made calls for democracy, the Soviet Union no longer stood in their way (as they had in Hungary and Czechoslovakia)


On the international scene Gorbachev aspired to end the arms race as he said: “We need Star Peace, not Star Wars” He has been credited with playing a major role in ending the cold war, in both the east and also the West. In 1991 conservative military forces attempted a coup where the life of Gorbachev was in serious jeopardy. The Coup eventually failed but on returning to Moscow political power and shifted from the Politburo to modernisers such as Yeltsin. Gorbachev resigned and never made a successful return to Russian politics. Raisa Maximova, Gorbachev’s wife died of Leukaemia in 1999. They had one daughter Irina.


Although unpopular in Russia for his perceived role in the breakup of the Soviet Union, he remains an influential voice. In 2011, he criticised Putin (who he previously had supported) for his third term as Russian President. He was also critical of the democratic deficit in the 2011 elections.

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Martin Luther King  


“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood”

Martin Luther King Jr was one of America’s most influential civil rights activists. His passionate, but non violent protests, helped to raise awareness of racial inequalities in America, leading to significant political change. Martin Luther King was also an eloquent orator who captured the imagination and hearts of people, both black and white. 


Early Life of Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta on 15 January 1929. Both his father and grandfather were pastors in an African-American Baptist church. M. Luther King attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, (segregated schooling) and then went to study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania and Boston University. During his time at University Martin Luther King became aware of the vast inequality and injustice faced by black Americans; in particular he was influenced by Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violent protest. The philosophy of Gandhi tied in with the teachings of his Baptist faith. At the age of 24, King married Coretta Scott, a beautiful and talented young woman. After getting married, King became a priest at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.

Montgomery Bus Boycott

A turning point in the life of Martin Luther King was the Montgomery Bus Boycott which he helped to promote. His boycott also became a turning point in the civil rights struggle – attracting national press for the cause.


It began in innocuous circumstances on 5 December 1955. Rosa Parks, a civil rights activist, refused to given up her seat – she was sitting in a white only area. This broke the strict segregation of coloured and white people on the Montgomery buses. The bus company refused to back down and so Martin Luther King helped to organise a strike where coloured people refused to use any of the city buses. The boycott lasted for several months, the issue was then brought to the Supreme Court who declared the segregation was unconstitutional.

Civil Rights Movement.


After the success of the Montgomery bus boycott, King and other ministers founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). This proved to be a nucleus for the growing civil rights movement. Later there would be arguments about the best approach to take. In particular the 1960s saw the rise of the Black power movement, epitomised by Malcolm X and other black nationalist groups. However, King always remained committed to the ideals of non violent struggle.

Martin Luther King was an inspirational and influential speaker; he had the capacity to move and uplift his audiences. In particular he could offer a vision of hope. He captured the injustice of the time but also felt that this injustice was like a passing cloud. King frequently made references to God, the Bible and his Christian Faith.


“And this is what Jesus means when he said: “How is it that you can see the mote in your brother’s eye and not see the beam in your own eye?” Or to put it in Moffatt’s translation: “How is it that you see the splinter in your brother’s eye and fail to see the plank in your own eye?” And this is one of the tragedies of human nature. So we begin to love our enemies and love those persons that hate us whether in collective life or individual life by looking at ourselves.”


His speeches were largely free of revenge, instead focusing on the need to move forward. He was named as Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1963, it followed his famous and iconic “I have a Dream Speech” – delivered in Washington during a civil rights march.


The following year, Martin Luther King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work towards social justice. King announced he would turn over the prize money $54,123 to the civil rights movement. With the prestige of the Nobel prize King was increasingly consulted by politicians such as Lyndon Johnson.



However, King’s opposition to the Vietnam War did not endear him to the Johnson administration; King also began receiving increased scrutiny from the authorities, such as the FBI.


On April 4th 1968, King was assassinated. It was one day after he had delivered his final speech “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop”


In his honour America have instigated a national Martin Luther King Day. He remains symbolic of America’s fight for justice and racial equality.



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Nelson Mandela


Nelson Mandela is a South African political activist who spent over 20 years in prison for his opposition to the apartheid regime. He was released in 1990 and was later in elected the first leader of a democratic South Africa in 1994. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (jointly with F.W. de Klerk) in 1993 for his work in helping to end racial segregation in South Africa.


“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. ”


Nelson Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa on July 18, 1918. He was the son of a local tribal leader of the Tembu tribe. As a youngster Nelson, took part in the activities and initiation ceremonies of his local tribe. However, unlike his father Nelson Mandela gained a full education, studying at the University College of Fort Hare and also the University of Witwatersrand. Nelson was a good student and qualified with a law degree in 1942. During his time at University Nelson Mandela became increasingly aware of the racial inequality and injustice faced by non white people. In 1994, he decided to join the ANC and actively take part in the struggle against apartheid.


As one of the few qualified lawyers, Nelson Mandela was in great demand; also his commitment to the cause saw him promoted through the ranks of the ANC. In 1956, Nelson Mandela, along with several other members of the ANC were arrested and charged with treason. After a lengthy and protracted court case the defendants were finally acquitted in 1961. However, with the ANC now banned, Nelson Mandela suggested an active armed resistance to the apartheid regime. This led to the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe, which would act as a guerrilla resistance movement. Receiving training in other African countries, the Umkhonto we Sizwe took part in active sabotage.


In 1963, Mandela was again arrested and put on trial for treason. This time the state succeeded in convicting of plotting to overthrow the government. However, the case received considerable international attention and the apartheid regime of South Africa became under the glare of the international community.


Mandela’s death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment and from 1964-1981 he was incarcerated at Robben Island Prison, off Cape Town. In prison the conditions were sparse; however, Mandela was with many other political prisoners and there was a strong bond of friendship which helped to make more bearable prison conditions. Also, in prison Nelson Mandela was highly disciplined, he would try and study and take part in exercise every day. He later said these year of prison were a period of great learning, even if painful.


During his time in prison, Mandela became increasingly well known throughout the world. Mandela became the best known black leader and opposition to the apartheid regime. Largely unbeknown to Mandela, his continued imprisonment led to world wide pressure for his release. From the mid 1980s, the apartheid regime increasingly began to negotiate with the ANC and Mandela in particular. On many occasions, Mandela was offered a conditional freedom. However, he always refused wishing to put the political ideals of the ANC above his own freedom.


Eventually Nelson Mandela was released on February 11, 1990. The day was huge event for South Africa and the world. His release symbolic of the impending end of apartheid. Following his release there followed protracted negotiations, (often interspersed with tribal violence). However, eventually in April 1994, South Africa had its first full and fair elections. The ANC with 65% of the vote were elected and Nelson Mandela became the first President of the new South Africa.


” The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. The time to build is upon us.”


As President, he sought to heal the rifts of the past. Despite being mistreated he was magnanimous in his dealing with his oppressors. His forgiving and tolerant attitude gained the respect of the whole South African nation and considerably eased the transition to a full democracy.


“If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness. ”


Nelson Mandela retired from the Presidency in 1999, to be succeeded by Thabo Mbeki. Recently ill health has curtailed his public life. However, he does speak out on certain issues. He has been very critical of the Bush led invasion of Iraq. Speaking in a Newsweek interview in 2002, where he expressed concern at American actions, he said:

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Sir Winston Churchill 


Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, FRS, PC (30 November 1874-24 January 1965) was a British politician and author, best known as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. 


Churchill was famous for his stubborn resistance to Hitler during the darkest hours of the Second World War.


During the First World War he resigned as naval chief for his role in the unsuccessful Turkish campaign.


In the 1930s, his political eccentricities consigned him to the backbenches, where he was a vocal critic of appeasement and urged the government to re-arm. He also opposed Indian Independence and was a staunch supporter of the Empire.


However, after an unsuccessful start to the Second World War, the Commons chose Churchill to lead the UK in a national coalition. Churchill was instrumental in insisting Britain keep fighting. He opposed the voices in the cabinet seeking to make a deal with Hitler.


After winning the Second World War, he was shocked to lose the 1945 general election to a resurgent Labour party. But, under the Conservatives he returned to power in the 1950 election – accepting much of the post war consensus and end of the British Empire.


Abraham Lincoln 


“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds…. “


Abraham Lincoln was born Feb 12, 1809, in Hardin Country, Kentucky. His family upbringing was modest; his parents from Virginia were neither wealthy or well known. At an early age, the young Abraham lost his mother and his father moved away to Indiana. Abraham had to work hard splitting logs and other manual labour. But, he also had a thirst for knowledge and worked very hard to excel in his studies. This led him to become trained as a lawyer. He spent  eight years working on the Illinois court circuit; his ambition, drive and capacity for hard work were evident to all around him. He also had a good sense of humour and was depreciating about his looks.


If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one? 

He married Mary Todd and had four children, although three died before reaching maturity.


As a lawyer, Abraham developed a great capacity for quick thinking and oratory. His interest in public issues encouraged him to stand for public office. In 1854 he was elected to the House of Representatives and he tried to gain nomination for the Senate in 1858. Although he lost this election, his debating skills caused him to become well known within the Republican party. In particular, during this campaign he gave one of his best remembered speeches.


A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved I do not expect the house to fall but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new  North as well as South (House Divided)


In this House divided speech, Lincoln gave a prophetic utterance to the potential for slavery to divide the nation.


The reputation he gained on the campaign trail caused him to be elected as Republican nominee for President in 1860.


The election of Lincoln as President in 1861, sparked the South to succeed from the North. Southern independence sentiment had been growing for many years and the election of a president opposed to slavery was the final straw. However, Lincoln resolutely opposed the breakaway of the South and so this led to the American civil war. The civil war was much more costly than many people anticipated and at times Lincoln appeared to be losing the support of the general population. But, he managed to keep the Republican party together, stifling dissent by promoting the various Republican factions into the cabinet. Lincoln oversaw many of the military aspects of the war and promoted the general Ulysses S Grant to oversee the northern forces.


Initially the war was primarily about succession and the survival of the Union, but as the war progressed Lincoln increasingly made the issue of ending slavery paramount. To Lincoln, slavery was fundamentally wrong.


Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally. 


On January 1, 1863, Lincoln issued his memorable Emancipation Proclamation that declared the freedom of slaves within the Confederacy.


“all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons,” (Emancipation Proclamation)


Eventually, after four years of attrition, the Federal forces secured the surrender of the defeated south. Lincoln had saved the union and also brought to head the end of slavery.


Dedicating the ceremony at Gettysburg on November 19, 1863, Lincoln declared:


“that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain–that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom–and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”



Lincoln was tragically assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, an actor on, April 14, 1865. He is widely regarded as one of America’s most influential and important presidents. As well as saving the union, Lincoln was viewed as embodying the ideals of honesty and integrity.


Lord Buddha


Lord Buddha was the founder of Buddhism.


Siddhartha, who later became known as the ‘Buddha – or The Enlightened One’ was a prince, who forsook the comforts of a palace to seek enlightenment. He realised the essential unreality of the world, in the bliss of nirvana and spent the remainder of his life teaching others how to escape the endless cycle of birth and death.


Buddha was born approximately 400 BC. He was born in a palace with all the comforts and luxuries possible. Growing up a young noble prince, it is said his father sought to shield the young prince Siddhartha from the pain and suffering of the world.


However, at one point, Buddha sought to find a greater meaning to life. So, in disguise, he left the Palace and wandered around the Kingdom. Here, Siddhartha came across, death, old age, illness and suffering. This showed him the transitory nature of life, so he resolved to seek the meaning of life.


Siddhartha resolved to give up worldly comforts and seek enlightenment amongst the ascetics of the forest. He left the Palace, leaving behind his wife and child, to travel into the forests to spend his time meditating with other ascetics.


In his quest for enlightenment, the Buddha fasted excessively so his body wasted away; however, enlightenment remained a far cry. At one point, a passing women gave him some food to eat and the

Buddha realised it was a mistake to seek enlightenment by torturing the body. He regained his strength and resolved to follow a ‘middle path’ of avoiding excesses of fasting and feasting.


On one day, the Buddha decided to sit under a Bodhi tree until he attained enlightenment. For several days, he sat in meditation seeking nirvana. He was tested by various forces which tried to prevent him realising the goal.


However, the Buddha was successful and entered in the blissful consciousness of nirvana for several days. On returning to normal consciousness, The Buddha made the decision to spend the remainder of his life teaching others how to escape the inherent suffering of life.


For many years, the Buddha travelled around India, especially around the Ganges plain and in Nepal, teaching his philosophy of liberation. His teachings were transmitted orally and not written down until many years after his death.


“For centuries the light of the Buddha has shone as a beacon beckoning men from across the sea of darkness. Like lost children, millions of seekers have reached out to the light with their heart’s inmost cry, and the Buddha has shown them the Way. The world stood before the Buddha with it’s ignorance, and the Buddha, the Enlightened One, gave man Truth. The world offered its age old suffering to the Buddha’s heart and the Buddha, Lord of Compassion, showed man the Dharma.”


Buddha Stupa at Borobudur

Teachings of the Buddha


Some of the fundamentals of the teachings of Gautama Buddha are:


* The Four Noble Truths: that suffering is an inherent part of existence; that the origin of suffering is ignorance and the main symptoms of that ignorance are attachment and craving; that attachment and craving can be ceased; and that following the Noble Eightfold Path will lead to the cessation of attachment and craving and therefore suffering.


* The Noble Eightfold Path: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.


* Love. The Buddha stressed the importance of calming the mind and seeking the peace that each individual has within. With this inner peace, we can react to awkward situations with love, compassion and generosity.


Conquer the angry man by love.

Conquer the ill-natured man by goodness.

Conquer the miser with generosity.

Conquer the liar with truth.


The Dhammapada


* Power of the Mind. The Buddha taught it is our own mind which creates our own suffering, but also we can use this power to create happiness.


“Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much

 as your own unguarded thoughts.”


“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. 

If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him.

If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought,

Happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him. “


Aung San Suu Kyi and Freedom From Fear


Aung San Suu Kyi came from a prominent political background-her father helped liberate Burma from British colonial control after WWII and her mother was the fledgling nation’s ambassador to India. 


Spending most of her younger adult years studying and raising a family abroad, Aung San Suu Kyi always felt that the time might come for her to take up her family’s legacy and fight against the oppressive military dictatorship that had overthrown the civilian government initiated by her father.


That moment came when Aung San Suu Kyi returned to Burma in 1988 to care for her ailing mother. Her visit coincided massive public demonstrations against the junta, and she joined the fray.


Emerging as the most compelling leader of the popular revolt, Aung San Suu Kyi helped found an opposition political party, the National League of Democracy. In 1990 she was voted in as Prime Minister in the first multi-party elections a triumph that was nullified by the military government, which had already placed her under house arrest.


When the junta offered her release in exchange for permanent exile, Aung San Suu Kyi refused. Instead, the courageous and principled leader continues to live under house arrest, despite the constant peril to her life and the decades-long separation from her family.


Aung San Suu Kyiâ’s tenacious dedication to see a better Burma has led to countless international awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize.

Sources: Pictures & Article from various web pages


Leadership isn’t just for those with the title or position of leadership. Every person, in any given situation, is a leader of something. You may not have the prestige or salary, but there is no doubt that you carry some leadership responsibilities, however small they may be.

Very few leaders start at the top. They start somewhere way down the ladder and work their way up. The difference between them and the next person is that they exhibit strong leadership characteristics. Now, not everyone is a natural born leader, but we all lead in various ways. Whether you’re trying to get to the top, or simply being successful where you are, there are several aspects of your own personal development that must be achieved in order be effective as a leader at any level.

John Maxwell provides 10 steps to developing courageous leadership:

“Convictions that are stronger than my fears”

A leader is one who overcomes their fears. This may be fears of stepping out, fears of trying something new, or even a fear of standing up to what you know is right. Most everyone has convictions but many are too timid to stand up when those convictions are challenged. To succeed as a leader your convictions must overrule your fears.

“Vision that is clearer than my doubts”

For any leader, vision is essential. A leader must be able to see where they are now, and look ahead to where they strive to be. While any vision comes with doubt, the doubt cannot be paralyzing to achieving the vision.

“Spiritual sensitivity that is louder than popular opinion”

Many people try to check their spirituality at the door when it comes to work and leadership, when in actuality they are inseparable. Spirituality is the core of who you are. Unfortunately, many allow trends, popular opinion, or even a louder voice in the room hold sway over what they truly know and believe in their heart. Spiritual strength is essential to establishing a firm moral foundation that cannot be blown over or toppled by the voices around them.

“Self-esteem that is deeper than self-protection”

Protecting oneself from outside forces and influences is a natural reaction. But sometimes people allow that to come at the expense of their own self-esteem. They protect themselves by going along and not standing out. This is contrary to true leadership. Leaders must be able to stand out and, by doing so, put themselves in a vulnerable position. Having the self-esteem to stick to your core convictions may leave you vulnerable, but no true leader ever succeeded under a roof of self-protection.

“Appreciation for discipline that is greater than my desire for leisure”

Greatness (or even desired goodness) can rarely be achieved without a measure of self-discipline. We all want and need leisure time, but those who stand head and shoulders above others almost universally have something in common. They are willing to sacrifice some of their precious leisure time for those things that help them grow mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

“Dissatisfaction that is more forceful than the status quo”

While I’m a firm believer in learning to be content where we are, there must also be a measure of dissatisfaction with things always being the same. Contentment helps us learn to survive and be happy with what we have. Dissatisfaction helps propel us forward to better things that we know can be achieved. While we cannot live in a state of unhappy dissatisfaction, we can use that dissatisfaction to grow our measure of success.

“Poise that is more unshakable than panic”

Nobody likes a panicky leader. While any leader may become worried or distressed, how they handle those situations says a lot about them. Keeping cool under pressure produces a calmness that spreads within an organization, allowing everybody to think with a clear head and develop strategies that will bring you through any crisis. Keep in mind, however that poise without action is just as devastating as panic… it just takes longer to feel the results.

“Risk-taking that is stronger than safety-keeping”

Leadership itself is a risk. There is no safety in standing up or stepping out when everybody else is just sitting around. Sometimes the risk is mental or emotional. Other times the risk will be financial. But there are very few profitable investments that don’t require some measure of risk. True leaders understand that risk is a part of the job.

“Actions that are more robust than rationalization”

It’s possible to rationalize your way out of anything. The problem is rationalizations reduce us to inaction rather than action. Nothing ever gets accomplished when we can find all the reasons not to do it rather than looking at why it needs to be done. Focus on the goals and find ways to to get there, instead of reasons not to try.

“A desire to see potential reached more than see people pleased”

Every person has potential for greatness. The biggest obstacle to such greatness is often those who we surround ourselves with. While we cannot put aside the needs of our friends and family for our own selfish ambitions, we cannot please everybody all of the time. Nor can you allow others to hold you back from achieving the success you deserve.

Leading is rarely ever easy. Some have natural ability, for others it must be developed. But every leader faces the same trials and struggles. Learning to overcome the roadblocks and other obstacles that often try to set us back is essential if we are going to reach our fullest potential.

Courageous leadership means finding ways to succeed regardless of our circumstances. It means putting ourselves out there, facing our fears, doubts and potential ridicule all for the greater good. While many people may not like what is required to become a leader, very few regret what they have to go through to achieve it.

Source: John Maxwell