In the novel Ireland, the wise woman told Ronan that:
While this may be insightful as pertains to poems, I believe that it is even more pertinent to leaders.
Recent events have served as a type of litmus test for me regarding leaders. Tumultuous times reveal character and true motivations more than any other. And during these events I have seen revealed the deficiencies in leadership of either "Hearts of Fire" or "Spirits of Honor."
What do I mean?
I personally believe that, some-a, USAmericans don't HAVE maps, (oops, wrong article! :))
I personally believe that leadership is made up of BOTH a "Heart of Fire" AND a "Spirit of Honor." A Heart of Fire represents Force, and a Spirit of Honor represents Light. My observations are that there are many, many leaders who are filled with a Heart of Fire, raring to go, pushing their way to the front, courageous and boisterous, climbing toward their goals. There are also many people, though in the leadership category, I think, perhaps a smaller number, who are Spirits of Honor, decent, kind, nice, selfless, concerned about others, and focused upon doing what is right, simply because it is right, even if it is personally costly.
But rare is the leader who posesses both.
Great leaders need both a Heart of Fire and a Spirit of Honor; in other words, both Force and Light.
Too many leaders are all Force and not enough Light. And this brings me to my theme: excellent leaders balance the two. Excellent leaders are just as concerned about doing what's right, being honorable, honest, and a force for good as they are attaining their own goals and successes. Excellent leaders conduct themselves nobly, with grace and humility, and are more concerned with being a contributer to the overall team, the overall good, the overall legacy, than they are about their personal gain. Excellent leaders make decisions that are costly simply because they are right. Excellent leaders risk personal gain because they have a higher standard of righteous conduct that overrules selfish ambitions.
I could wax on, but I won't. Everybody reading this knows what I am talking about: HONOR.
What would the world be like if more of its "leaders" were at least as concerned with being honorable as they are for being successful? What would the business world be like if its "leaders" were slower to manuever for their own advantage and quicker to consider what is most honorable to do in a given situation?
Successful people are a dime a dozen. Gaining wealth is really not a big deal, and usually, not much of an achievement. Fame is a hollow promise laced with misery. The only thing that really lasts for a leader is his or her conduct, decency, selflessness, service to others, sacrifice, and honor. THAT is the legacy of a leader.
As with poems, leadership won't come to rest in a place of baseness. No self-respecting legacy would think of entering a soul of perfidy.
Lead on. And do it with honor, or don't do it at all.