Paradoxical Commandments

Last week I was sitting in Friday morning mass at our kids school.  Fr. Paul’s homily was focused on Luke chapter 7:18-30 about Jesus giving John The Baptist the benefit of the doubt.  It was a timely message for me.  The homily got me thinking about business, our groups, and the consequences that arised from times I rushed to judgement or got frustrated when members &/or groups were short-sighted.  Later that day I was still thinking of it and I decided it was a good time to re-read an old article about 10 leadership commandments from one of my favorite writers, Harvay McKay.   As usual it helped re-motivate me and put things into perspective.  I hope it helps you as well.

MacKay thoughts on “The 10 Paradoxical Commandments”

1. People are illogical, unreasonable and self-centered. Love them anyway.  I’ve learned that co-workers and customers do not always respond as I would hope. But if I want to keep them as colleagues and customers, I need to cut them some slack.

2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Do good anyway.  If you are doing well, then you should be doing good. The good you do will outweigh the criticism you endure. In truth, it would be more selfish to abandon your good works in order to avoid conflict.

3. If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.  There will always be those who will want to jump on your bandwagon or be jealous of your good fortune. That shouldn’t prevent you from doing the best you can do.

4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.  Do good because it’s the right thing to do, not because you are looking for lifetime recognition. Remember, virtue is its own reward.

 5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.  I maintain that lying and cheating make you more vulnerable. Being honest and frank translates into trust, which is the most important five-letter word in business.

6. The biggest men with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.  Small-minded people rarely accomplish big things, and they are not leaders. Take some risks and trust your judgment.

7. People favor underdogs, but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.  Top dogs were underdogs once, too. Great leaders mentor their replacements because they know they won’t be the top dogs forever. They also have a knack for recognizing talent.

8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.  You can’t predict the future, but you can be prepared to face problems with careful planning.

9. People really need help, but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.   A helping hand might get slapped away. But if you stand by and do nothing when you have the capacity to be helpful, shame on you. That’s not leadership, that’s cowardice.

10. Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.  Put a smile on your face and give your detractors a big, toothy target. You never have to apologize for doing your best. You should apologize if you do less than your best.

Link to full article:  The Paradoxical Commandments of Leadership