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I like people with a “can do” attitude: those who see a problem, obstacle or challenge and are willing to tackle it. I love being around people with this spirit. They energize me! This perspective knows no age barrier as I recently discovered while reading Life Is So Good, a book describing George Dawson’s adventure in learning to read at age 98.

I also experienced the childlike version of this attitude as I watched my five-year-old granddaughter learning to ride her bike. One of her new challenges was to start from a dead stop going uphill, which is HARD at any age, but especially when you are only five (and ½). Being the caring grandfather that I am, I wanted to give her a little push; you know just a wee bit of help.

I wasn’t going to do it for her; I was simply going to create momentum. But to my surprise and delight she stopped…looked at me sweetly and said…Dida (her name for me) “I Can Do This!” She was not indignant, but she was firm. She was more sympathetic than scolding as though to say, “I have to grow up sometime, so I might as well begin now.”

Did I mention I like people with this type of attitude? Yes, I guess I did. I would also like to mention that people with this type of spirit make good leaders. Leaders are people who see obstacles or challenges and look for solutions, not escape routes. They are the ones who appreciate help but will still go to war even if they have to go solo.

The best leaders are those who have risen to the challenge. They are leaders not because someone positioned them there but because they have faced hardship, navigated rough waters and survived crises. Leadership requires a certain amount of grit in your gut that can still force out the words “I can do this,” even when you have taken a body blow.

  • Leadership is not for the faint hearted, it is for people of vision who don’t quit even when the odds are against them… like being aged 98 and fulfilling your lifetime desire to read.
  • Leadership is for those who would love to have that little extra push but know that if they can’t do it on their own right now…they’ll probably still be looking for help in the future. They know they’ve got to be able to start on that uphill slant from a dead stop alone.

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