Sucessful Leaders Don’t Win

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“The only meaningful measure for a leader is whether the team succeeds or fails.

I don’t agree with this, well, partially anyways.

I don’t believe “the only meaninful measure for a leader is whether the team succeeds or fails.” I don’t believe it is that binary. The opening quote of this post and the quote above is from the book Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. In this book, which I admittedly just begun reading, the authors reflect on what it means to be a leader and what it means to success and fail as a leader.

While the book opens with some compelling arguments, most of which I agree with, I don’t agree with this line. Now, this is a rather annecdotal quote and the authors go on to explain that of course failures matter and all great leaders not only fail, but learn and grow from their failures.

But I don’t think it’s such an easy binary thing to say that the only measure of a great leader is winning or losing. To me, successful leaders don’t win….exclusively.

Leaders don’t just win. They inspire, invoke and ignite others.

Leaders show vulnerability and empathy.

Leaders are ok with being wrong and actually seek to be wrong quickly in order to be right more often.

Leaders encourage and uplift others to pursue their own leadership desires and aptitudes.

Leaders are resilliant.

Leaders aggressively pursue progress.

Leaders constantly question what they know.

Leaders know their success does not come at the expense of others.

Leaders know we are better together than we ever would be alone.

That said, I am finding this book very interesting and a wrothwhile read. Like I said, the author does go on to explain their position on this a bit more. I thought it would be a good experiment to write about this a bit to further solidify what I believe are leadership qualities. I am by no means a top echelon successful individual nor am I perfect. But I do strive to exude these qualties and work on them daily.

What do you consider are qualities of great leaders?