A Wish For Leaders and Aspiring Leaders

I cam across the poem "A Wish for Leaders" recently and the author clearly understood a thing or two about leadership ...

I stumbled across this poem entitled “A Wish for Leaders” and thought it was worth sharing here:

I sincerely wish you will have the experience of thinking up a new idea, planning it, organizing it, and following it to completion, and then having it be magnificently successful. I also hope you’ll go through the same process and have some-thing “bomb-out.”

I wish you could know how it feels “to run” with all your heart and lose – horribly.

I wish that you could achieve some great good for mankind, but have nobody know about it except for you.

I wish you could find something so worthwhile that you deem it worthy of investing your life.

I hope you become frustrated and challenged enough to begin to push back the very barriers of your own personal limitations.

I hope you make a stupid, unethical mistake and get caught red-handed and are big enough to say those magic words “I was Wrong.”

I hope you give so much of yourself that some days you wonder if it’s worth it all.

I wish for you a magnificent obsession that will give you reason for living and purpose and direction and élan and life.

I wish for you the worst kind of criticism for everything you do, because that makes you fight to achieve beyond what you normally would.

I wish for you the experience of leadership.

Dr Earl Reum

The author clearly understood a thing or two about leadership. Although I’d never heard of him before, from the words in “A Wish for Leaders” I think we can safely assume that he:

  • Was an ideas person, who enjoyed taking a novel or creative approach to things.

  • Understood the importance of planning.

  • Knew the importance of hard work, having a goal and a mission, and following through.

  • Understood that experiencing success AND failure are key to developing empathy and maturity.

  • Wasn’t the sort of person to say “What’s In It For Me?” but rather, thought about the greater good.

  • Might have been afraid of stepping out of his comfort zone (just like any of us) – but knew that is where growth happens, so he did it anyway.

  • Felt unappreciated at times – but while awards and recognition are important, they weren’t his WHY so he just got on with the job at hand.

  • Was whole hearted in whatever he did.

  • Made mistakes and errors in judgement sometimes, but instead of letting them define or discourage him, learned from them.

  • Wasn’t afraid to accept responsibility for his mistakes, and knew when to apologise.

  • Was a caring, authentic person.

What an inspirational role model! I couldn’t resist delving a little deeper.

I was convinced that Dr Reum (pronounced “room”) would have been a successful leader himself – and it turns out my hunch was correct …

Who Was Dr Earl Reum?

Dr Earl Reum (1931-2010) was an educator, magician, and motivational speaker in Denver, Colorado. As a middle school teacher, he was known for his sense of humour, his ready repertoire of magic tricks, and for inspiring his students to grow in confidence and as leaders.

His heavy involvement in promoting student councils and the values of leadership lead him to found NAWD (the National Association of Workshop Directors) which to this day provides and encourages leadership training for students in the US.

He was remembered in a local Denver publication for all of these things shortly after his passing, but I love how this sentence captures the essence of this intriguing personality:

“But the real magic was always in the galvanizing effect he had on people, especially students in need of a laugh and an affirmation that hard work and character count.”

My Wish for Leaders

I am reminded of the person who told me recently that chat and laughter were frowned upon in their workplace. Staff were expected to fulfil their duties largely in silence, and were reprimanded for talking, even about work-related matters – let alone what they did on the weekend!

What a shame that some bosses think this way. How I wish I could tell this supervisor that laughter and hard work are not mutually exclusive. Rather, where the community is encouraged to flourish, productivity does too!

If you could make a wish for leaders midst the challenges of 2020, what would it be? You can email me at today!

Or perhaps you would first just love to gauge how you are currently tracking along your own path to becoming an Extraordinary, Inspirational, Next Generational Leader: then please click here to utilise our free self-rating questionnaire!

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