Washington had to count on whatever supplies could be conjured up by a powerless Congress, small businessmen, and local farmers.
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The British were well-provisioned in their immaculate red uniforms, well-stocked knapsacks, and fine boots. The British officer corps was well-trained, highly disciplined, and proficient in the art of war. There were several obvious reasons, such as the combat experience he had gained during the French and Indian War. Fighting on the side of the British in that conflict, he became a capable officer who demonstrated admirable leadership skills in battle. Washington was also an influential resident from the important colony of Virginia, and the wealthy owner of a large tobacco plantation.
More than any other leader of his time, George Washington was recognized as a person of unquestioned moral integrity. He was universally acknowledged as someone who was honest, trustworthy, forbearing, and of sound judgment. Knowing that Congress could provide the army little in the way of supplies or wages, they recognized it was of ultimate importance that the soldiers have a respected commander to follow. Although Washington was the primary example of a leader with moral integrity, he was by no means the only one.
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General Washington demanded excellence from his subordinates, and he promoted a young officer by the name of Alexander Hamilton to aide-de-camp. Hamilton had demonstrated to Washington not only moral integrity, but also diplomacy, industry, and genius. Be Honest with Your Followers. Common sense will tell you that no one wants to work for someone who does not tell the truth.
Can you count on that promised bonus or promotion? When the boss says you did a great job—is it sincere? Is your job secure? Lack of honesty in a leader quickly degenerates into a lack of trust, increased skepticism, and the loss of commitment on the part of followers. Admit Your Own Weaknesses. Weak leaders often believe that admitting they are wrong is a sign of poor leadership. If you refuse to admit your own weaknesses or mistakes, you will find yourself continually defending your poor choices and taking your followers down a path that is second best—or worse.
They want a leader that they can look up to, be inspired by, and model by example. The leadership lesson here is not to focus on your own success, but focus on living a life of significance. One that your children will be proud of and one that your employees will remember. What we do in this life, will echo into eternity. Make your leadership count, make your life count, by adding value and significance to the lives of those that you lead.
Maximus demonstrated loyalty, strength, leadership on the battlefield and commitment.
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Maximus had character and he did what was right when no one was looking. That level of commitment and discipline won the favor, respect, and admiration of Marcus Aurelius. Maximus was viewed in the eyes of the Emperor as a son. In the movie, he even tells Maximus that he should have been his own blood son.
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The amazing thing about this is that Maximus was not seeking a position, a title, or some reward. He simply wanted to finish the battle and return home to his family. But great leadership created an opportunity for him to become the Emperor of all of Rome. That is how real leadership works.
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The moment we retire from trying to pursue greatness and become successful and focus on being the best we can be is the moment that a wealth of opportunities will open up to us. Success is not something you pursue, but something you attract by the person you become. The leadership lesson here is that Leadership is not defined by the position you are in or the title behind your name. Leadership is something that is earned in the eyes of those that follow you. Many of the leaders in this generation have changed the focus from serving to trying to become successful.
Many millennials are chasing the highest office or the most pay with no real world experience. One of the most powerful scenes in the movie is when Commodus learns that Maximus might be selected as the next emperor by his father Marcus Aurelius. Commodus goes in to see his father and in tears explains that all he ever wanted was the approval and acceptance of his father.
Marcus Aurelius responded with a powerful response that represents something significant. Wow, that speaks volumes. Do you as a leader take responsibility for the failures of those that follow you? Do you look at your own leadership first to see if they may have failed because of you?
Leadership is a privilege but it also a responsibility. Do you accept responsibility for mistakes as Marcus Aurelius did? This is a very powerful leadership lesson. Sometimes when people fail, it could be because we have failed to develop them as a leader. Back to the scene, Commodus goes to hug is father who is on his knees as this point, apologizing to Commodus. He became distorted in his thinking and his actions because he failed to see himself as significant. At the source of many employee disengagement problems is the human needs that are unmet both in their personal lives and in the career lives.
The powerful leadership lesson is to be empathic and sensitive to those we lead.
We can never know when they are at the point of frustration, or disappointment. A simple thank you, or giving them a sense of significance at work could very well save their lives. Appreciation is the most powerful gift you can give to those that follow you. When you send out love, you will always defuse hate. I get overwhelmed even as I write this to think that human beings can be driven to such behavior that they would take the life of someone to gain a sense of significance and self-worth. As a leader you have the power and ability to make a difference in the lives of your employees and those that follow you.
I teach a concept often when I speak to audiences across the country. Most often we take flight when confrontation shows up in the workplace and even in our personal lives. I am not talking about fighting but the ability to confront the things in our lives that may be blocking or stopping our progress as a person, as a leader, and as an organization. By far the best parts of this movie were the fight scenes in the Roman Coliseum. It took incredible courage to walk out into the middle of the Coliseum and be prepared to face whatever comes at you.
This was what Maximus demonstrated again and again throughout the movie. He not only confronted challenges, but organized the few men he had working with him to come up with the victory every single time. His amazing leadership and act of heroism defied a wicked emperor and changed the culture of a nation. If you want to change the culture of an organization, it is going to take incredible and fearless leadership to do it.
Are you fearless as a leader? Are you prepared to confront change, and confront issues that has your leadership or organization at a standstill? Leadership means playing the hero and taking the lead. It means you are serving something greater than yourself.
That greater could be your organization, those that follow you, and even making your impact on humanity. It all starts with your ability to confront change. As I talk to many organizations and leaders, I find one of the biggest challenges to getting better results, is being trapped in doing the same thing over and over. They regurgitate the same information over and over and never open their organizational windows to new and fresh ideas and information.
The moment we lose our ability to be average and keep doing things the same way, is the moment that we emerge as a leader others will follow. We then become leaders that change the course, culture and destiny of organizations and lives. It takes a tremendous amount of strength to go against the grain.
It takes strength to stand up and stick with your decision when everyone is against you. It takes strength to walk alone. Maximus demonstrated strength to his team and they reflected and modeled that strength right back to him. Maximus illustrated both mental and physical strength. Have you checked your mental strength lately? How about your physical strength? Those are all emotions that you can feel physically in your body. What is that you do when no one is watching? To be a leader others will follow, it means developing integrity and becoming a person that others can trust.
Maximus proved to his men that he was a leader that could be trusted.
http://gatsbydesign.co.uk/the-diabetes-guide.php He motivated them, he inspired them, and he strengthened them. They followed him not because they had to but because they wanted to. He told them when to attack and when to take cover. At one point, they have to defeat enemies that were more equipped than they were. The opposing enemies rode on chariots, had many more weapons and an unfair advantage against Maximus and his team.
Take the basic talent and develop it into leadership ability.