The Heart of Leadership



FromThe Maxwell Daily Reader, John C. Maxwell

Date: January 27 2016

Title: The Heart of Leadership

FromThe 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader 



For Maxwell the heart of leadership is rooted in service to others. One of the most poignant lessons I learned at my Jesuit high school was the latin abbreviation “AMDG”. Which means:

The full phrase in Latin is: “Ad maiorem Dei gloriam ianque hominium salutem.

Translation: “In the greater flory of god and humanity.”

It is a phrase attributed to Saint Ignatius of Loyal the patron Saint of Catholic warriors, the military, and a number of cities throughout the world. More importantly Saint Ignatius became the first Father General of the Jesuit order. Under his leadership the Jesuits traveled all over the world establishing missions, schools and seminars. Within the Catholic faith the Jesuits are paralleled to the Marines, they head into unrest early on in the fight.

The above bit of context is a slight tangent, but where it relates to today’s entry is that from “AMDG” many Jesuit high schools instill a concept known as “Men For Others”. At Gonzaga in DC this concept isn’t just a catch phrase or something cute to put on the brochures its an ethos that runs throughout the student body. I know many a friend who was a bit of an asshole in their teenage years who mattered and carried as they became men. I do my best to try and live up to this ideal, even though I am not Catholic, because it makes the world better (vomit here).

I need to clarify, I am far from religious, in fact I can’t stand the rise of the evangelical Christian zealots in the United States. Any faith where you can spend a lifetime raping, eating babies, beating puppies, and burning roses, that allows you to wash all those “sins” away by proclaiming Jesus Christ as your lord and savior is a bit of bullshit. I believe in life, your actions define you more than your words. Having said all of the above, examining Jesus through the lens of a philosopher and the guy gave a manual to success.

Going back to Maxwell, leadership can’t exist within a person without an adherence to the notion of service to others. If leadership at its core revolves around the ability to move individuals as a collective towards a defined destination, then inherent in this skill to move others is direct interest outside of our own person. Dale Carnegie in his widely read book How to Win Friends & Influence People, states the one word all people love more than any other is their own name. Carnegie hypothesizes humans by nature are self interested, thus our own name is music. The next time you meet a cheesy salesman who says your name before and after everything they say, remember this post they probably read the book.

Ultimately, if you are a selfish prick and don’t like other people (like me), rationalize the behavior by understanding this outward service to others is being done for your personal gain. If you can move large masses of people through service, why wouldn’t you?

Favorite Quote: 

“If you want to lead on the highest level, be willing to serve at the lowest.”

Action for Day: 

Examine your motivation for leading others today.

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