“Learn as much as you can from those who know more than you do, who do better than you, who see more clearly than you.”
Dwight Eisenhower, President of United States of America (1953-1961)
Who doesn’t like a good quote from our 34th President of the United States of America? But how fitting is this statement in today’s world of self- promoters and narcissists. Those searching for instant gratification that gauge their success by the number of “followers” they have on social media, and those expecting that they should be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company before they are 30.
To become an effective leader, one must work hard to attain wisdom, patience, candor, insight, humor, decisiveness and basic competencies in their field or profession. This work is usually demanding, hard, sometimes complicated and requires the proper attitude and preparation for the adventure ahead.
General Eisenhower didn’t become a general overnight. He worked, he studied, he fought, he thought, he put in the time, and he persevered to place himself in the right time in the right place to be chosen as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in World War II. The responsibility was intense and immense. Can you imagine the constant daily pressure he must have endured every day and the weight of the decisions he had to make? But he prepared himself to make those decisions and to lead men both on and off the field of battle. Thousands and thousands of lives depended on his preparation. I can’t even imagine how difficult this was.
Did this experience and formal education at the US Military Academy prepare him to become the President of the United States. It played a part, but I think his training to become the President came from his years of experience of observing and learning from the military and world leaders that he served with and from his God given talents.
I challenge you to listen and observe leaders in your field and in your sphere of influence, do the hard work and place yourself in that position to succeed. Because the world needs more leaders. Ike was right- learn as much as you can from those who know more than you do, who do better than you and who see more clearly than you.