A leader is someone others choose to follow

A recent post was on “How far is it acceptable to push ?” and reflected on the difference in two teams in pro cycling. One driven by fear and control and “zero tolerance”, another by trust and acceptance and, ultimately, love.

In this I was reminded of the quote from Dr King :


In my life I have worked for several decades in business, in sports, and in leadership. You want “hard-nosed results” for your business ? Higher Revenues ? Reduced Expenses ? Bigger Profits ? Higher Valuation ?

Two ways to do this. One is to push, drive, control. Another is to lead from passion and purpose. Empirically both can work. However I’ve found that leading from love not fear is easier, smoother and ultimately drives better results and in a sustainable way.

Yes, you heard me (and I’ve written about it before and will do again), LOVE is the answer, not FEAR.

Over the years, I have a list of “Tom’s simple definitions”. One of them is my definition of a leader :

“A leader is someone others choose to follow”

So, combining the themes into leading from love, I give you a wonderful video of the stunningly powerful speech by Charlie Chaplin to close “The Great Dictator”, dating back to 1940 and ever more relevant for our world today.

This passage resonates with me in the current geo-political atmosphere :

“To those who can hear me, I say – do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed – the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people.”

Would you follow such a leader ? I would.