May 07, 2009

The leadership of a king

The other night, my son and I finished reading The Horse And His Boy, one of the books in the Chronicles of Narnia series written by C.S. Lewis. One paragraph in particular caused me to pause for a moment to consider the weight of the words that I had just finished reading. It must have been a noticeable pause, because my son asked me why I had stopped reading.

To give some context, a young boy named Cor had just learned that he would someday be the king of his father's kingdom. Cor's brother had just finished stating that he was glad that his brother was going to be the king instead of him, because that meant that he could be a prince forever. Princes, in his words, have all of the fun.

The king agreed with Cor's brother, and spoke the following words that prompted my hesitation:

"For this is what it means to be a king: to be first in every desperate attack and last in every desperate retreat, and when there's hunger in the land (as must be now and then in bad years) to wear finer clothes and laugh louder over a scantier meal than any man in your land."

There are several lessons that leaders could learn from this:
  • Leaders set the direction and move forward with an intensity that rallies others in the face of adversity.
  • Knowing when to quit before hand is critical to success. However, leaders have the responsibility to make certain that those that they serve are protected from harm before themselves.
  • When tough times show up, a leader must be willing to sacrifice more than any other person, while ensuring that no one knows that the leader has done without.
Huge, audacious, out of this world opportunities abound, even in the current economic climate that we are faced with. What we need are leaders who are willing to embrace the uncertainty, move forward despite the challenges, and passionately inspire those that follow to move forward and victoriously take the field of opportunity that has been placed before us.

Are you willing to accept this mission?

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