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Secrets of Leadership

By J. Donald Walters (Swami Kriyananda)

A thought a day to develop true leadership


The secret of leadership is...
1. to think of your position as an opportunity to serve, not as a trumpet call to self-importance.

2. to hold always to the principle, “People are more important than things.” Hold to that principle,
and those who work with you will always give you their best.

3. Being loyal to those who work for you, whatever their position on the “totem pile.” Loyalty
inspires loyalty. By demanding loyalty of others first, you’ll develop “yes men,” and the burden of
every decision will rest on you alone.

4. sharing with others the credit for any work well done. You will then have their support in all you
do. Support is given grudgingly to the leader who claims, “I did it all.”

Also, take from others the burden of blame. For even if the fault was theirs, in renouncing
responsibility you renounce your leadership.

5. allegiance to truth. Make truth the “bottom line.” Remember, truth alone wins in the end.

6. bearing the larger picture always in mind. Many a short-termed triumph has blocked the
attainment of a long-term goal. Ask yourself, “What are we really trying to accomplish?”

7. even-mindedness: not being elated by success, nor depressed by failure, but simply doing your
best, and letting the results take care of themselves. Let nothing that happens affect who you are,
inside.

8. to concentrate on what you are doing, not on yourself as the doer. Your ego can either infuse a
project with energy, or hinder its execution, depending on whether you give the project energy, or
hold it spinning in a vortex of self-adulation.

9. never to ask of others what you would not willingly do yourself. There are leaders, and there are
bosses. Be one who leads, not one who drives others.

10. being impersonal where your own well-being is concerned, but personally concerned for the
well-being of others.

11. listening for the voice of reason in others. Listening to what is really trying to happen in every
situation. Life teaches us through others, sometimes, or through circumstances. Be always ready to
learn. You’ll never lose face, if all you want is the truth.
12. working with things as they are, not as you wish they were, nor as you think they ought to be:
for the “impossible” dream can be attained only in possible stages.

13. working with others’ abilities as they are: not as you wish they were, nor as you think they
ought to be. Try to get the best person for the job at hand, but remember: “People are more
important than things.” Think also, “Is this job the best thing for the person under consideration for
it?”

14. far-sightedness: gazing beyond the visible to the potential on the horizon.

15. to be solution-oriented, not problem-oriented. For each of these attitudes projects its own
magnetism. Solution-orientedness attracts success. Problem-orientedness attracts only confusion
and mental paralysis.

16. not shackling yourself with what is merely customary; on the other hand, not confusing merit
with novelty. Do what is intrinsically right, and, even if others have done it a thousand times, it will
seem new.

17. sharing with others your goals and ideals. Include them as friends, and you will have their
support.

18. appealing to high principles, and not seeking support by an appeal to people’s prejudices.

19. recognizing in kindness and compassion higher principles than can be found in rules and
precedents. [Secrets of Life: People will often say, “It’s a matter of principle,” when what they
intend is an appeal to precedent. Precedent is often made and excuse for not facing with freshness
and creativity the realities and needs of the moment.]

20. to consider the team more important than the product. Remember, a good team can develop
many products.

21. not allowing your decisions to be influenced by personal likes and dislikes. For the more you
do so, the narrower your vision will become. Other people’s likes and dislikes, however, are a
necessary part of the reality you have to work with.

22. inviting cooperation from others, rather than demanding their obedience. You can always, as the
leader, enforce obedience. You will do so, however, at the cost of their willing and loyal support.
Without these – indeed, without enthusiasm on their part – you will never receive their best efforts.

23. enthusiasm: winning others to your ideas by the joy you yourself feel in them.

24. doing willingly whatever needs to be done.

25. finding joy in the doing, rather than in the things done. Thereby, though things change, your
ability to inspire others will remain constant.

26. to view whatever you do as a path to some greater good. Allow no accomplishment to become
an end in itself.
27. the ability to inspire others with faith in their own high potential. Never speak belittlingly of
them when they fall short of your expectations. Your faith in them, or your lack of it, will
determine to a great extent the success of your endeavors.

28. putting your heart in your work, and not merely giving the work your reasoned endorsement.

29. loving others – not as separate from yourself, but as part of your own greater reality. Expand
your reality to include others, and they will remain your forever.

30. magnanimity; not bearing grudges. Remember, when people hurt you, that they are hurting
themselves even more. Give them your silent sympathy.

31. a sense of humor; laughing with others, never at them. If you must laugh at anyone, turn the
laughter against yourself.

The Art of Supportive Leadership, Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters)


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“Thou Art With Me” Read it - and then go back and click on the links – it is
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