Mindstate Motivation Blog

L, F or G

b2ap3_thumbnail_Thomas-Paine-9431951-1-402Now, that I have your attention let me put you out of your misery.  There’s a wonderful quote from the 18th century influential writer, Thomas Paine.  For those of you who don’t know, some might say that Thomas Paine’s most influential piece of writing was one entitled, Common Sense.  It was published during the era of the American Revolution and its thoughts were influential in helping many people at that time make the decision to support freedom from British rule. Anyway, the quote is:  “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.”  Get the meaning of the title, now?

When it comes to the single most important responsibility of leaders, I think that quote says it so well.  The most important job of the leader is to lead!  A leader can’t lead by following or by getting out of the way all together.  In fact, a true leader will never be asked by those s/he leads to do either of the aforementioned things.  No, the people being led want the leader to do what s/he is supposed to do.

And, that is?  Well, try these thoughts on for size:


  • A leader must not just see the horizon of opportunities but those also beyond.
  • With a vision of those opportunities, a leader must inspire those being led to share the same vision.
  • A leader must select the people into the group being led so s/he can have confidence in their passion and like mindedness.
  • With that confidence in place, a leader can turn her or his back on the group so s/he can continue to lead all toward the vision that lay ahead.
  • A leader maintains a focus on the vision while continuing to inspire others to realize it through acting on their individual responsibilities.
  • A leader makes it very clear to those being led that their effort and contribution is fully appreciated and personally recognized.
  • A leader leads by making the ultimate leadership decision to change roles and follow or get out of the way long before others think s/he should do so.


I hope these brief thoughts on leadership have “L”ed you to “F”eel more confident in what it takes to make your leadership style “G”reat.

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