Thought for The Day - A Leadership Tip

Catherine the Great of Russia may not be one's choice of a leader to emulate. Nonetheless she overcame sizeable odds to become Empress of Russia. Over a long period of rule she was "successful' from the perspective of acquiring great wealth, territory and trade route access for her country.  Her biography by Robert K. Massie includes her own assessment of how to use power. According to Massie, a contemporary recorded that she said,

[It is not as easy as you orders would not be carried out unless they were the kind of orders which could be carried out....I examine the circumstances, I take advice, I consult the enlightened part of the people, and in this way I find out what sort of effect my laws will have. And when I am already convinced in advance of good approval, then I issue my orders, and have the pleasure of observing what you call blind obedience....believe me, they will not obey blindly when orders are not adapted to the opinion of the people.] Catherine The Great as quoted on pages 573,573 of Catherine the Great, Portait of a Woman, Robert K. Massie, Random House 2011.

This entry is not intended to address and extol autocratic rule by CEOS, other organization leaders and persons in power. But a modern concept of effective leadership, later attributed to FDR, is not dissimilar from her insight recorded well over 200 years ago. FDR is reputed to have said, [I must find out where my people are going so I can lead them there.]

Food for thought as you seek to inspire and lead your people? Listen to and be in touch with their needs and concerns if you want them to perform as you need them to in order to achieve success.



Jeanne Franklin