Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Laws of Success Lesson 5: Leadership and Initiative

So I was going to put a very inspirational clip from the movie "Invictus" on here, but it seems like embedding is disabled on youtube.com when it comes to blockbuster films. If you haven't seen the movie, go see it, it is very inspirational and shows how humanity really can overcome hatred and prejudice. In the meantime, I guess I'll have to settle for giving you the link to the clip. Please click here to see it.

If you are still here, let's talk leadership. In the Laws of Success, Napoleon Hill kind of uses this particular lesson as the bridge into the rest of the course and as a way of putting together what was learned in Lessons 1, 2 and 3. He also introduces a new law: The Law of Initiative. I don't want to rehash everything he says in the book, however, I did want to draw your attention to two major concepts.

1.) According to Napoleon Hill, the basic formula for leadership requires a Definite Chief Aim, Imagination, Self Confidence, and Initiative. I will discuss imagination soon. Initiative is described here in two parts: the power to take action, and the power to make a firm decision.

2.) There is a speech in this lesson given by Major C. A. Bach, an Army Major in World War I, on leadership. Mr. Hill calls it one of the single greatest speeches on leadership. I happen to agree, so I have placed a copy online for your viewing pleasure.

Leadership is a very important concept for me because I have considered myself a leader since my days in the military. I think in order to be truly successful, you have to become a leader. I also think that many people have a twisted definition of leadership. Here is my list of what a leader is to me:
  • A leader inspires first and foremost.
  • A leader is first into a bad situation and last into a good one.
  • A leader always looks out for his/her followers as if they were the leader's own children.
  • A leader knows his/her people.
  • A leader knows the jobs of his/her followers as well as their own job.
  • A leader understands the power of delegation.
  • A leader demands teamwork.
  • A leader will never ask anyone to do what they would not do themselves.
  • A leader respects his/her followers like he/she respects someone he/she follows.
  • A leader is never afraid to make a decision.
  • A leader is always concerned with how to advance the team.
  • A leader is always responsible for the actions of a follower.
  • A leader understands the value of wise counsel and is not afraid to seek advice.
  • A leader stays informed.
  • A leader is creative. 
  • A leader is always striving to improve every aspect of their life.
People have written volumes on the study of leadership both from scientific and philosophical perspectives. It would be impossible to list all of the information gathered on leadership in one blog or even an entire website. However, I do invite you to do more study on the subject. Tell me what your ideas are on Leadership. How do you define a leader? What can people do to become leaders? Do you think leaders are born, or made? I look forward to reading your thoughts.


  1. Great post and very interesting. Plus if you find the history of South Africa and the apartheid interesting, watch A Dry White Season. That'll will get you thinking for sure.

    The Chap:)

  2. Thank you for the comment. I will be sure to check out that movie.