Tag Archives: Leadership

The Classic Pamela Positive: Don’t Ever Give This Up: Humble Will

peak-299011_640Don’t ever give this up.  Your Humble Will.   It’s your commitment to persevere.

Business models will change and do change. Systems change, marketplaces change, technology changes.

But your Humble Will to persevere cannot.  Your organization relies on it; your team must know it. And you must found this commitment to persevere deeply within your soul and daily execution.

Please note I add “humble will.” It’s a listening commitment, a listening perseverance. You can’t just bulldoze ahead….. You have to be in touch with your marketplace, sector, clients, board, partners, team in order to know the best way to go, each moment, each day. And that takes humble listening.

Don’t ever give up your Humble Will to persevere.

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The Pamela Positive: Make Criticism Yield to You

“Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself; he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him.”  –Johan Wolfgang von Goethe

No matter how hard it is, we have to face challenging feedback and take some step of action. It’s not easy… but the more we do it, the more we become accustomed to it.   To being honest with ourselves…and to overcoming the challenge.  We grow, we excel, and we move on, up and over it.   With that honesty, as Goethe states, “(the criticism) will gradually yield to him.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a German writer and artist, and a leading figure in German literature.  His works include The Sorrows of Young Werther and Faust.  He was highly influential to the 19th century.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Make the Most of the Abilities We Have” – Jim Abbott

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“Never allow the circumstances of your life to become an excuse. People will allow you to do it. But I believe we have a personal obligation to make the most of the abilities we have.”
– Jim Abbott

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Jim Abbott is a former Major League baseball pitcher, who played despite having been born without a right hand. He played for teams including the California Angels, New York Yankees, and Chicago White Sox. In 1993, Abbott threw a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians, and in 1988 pitched the final game to win the United States an unofficial gold medal in the Summer Olympics. Throughout his career, teams tried to exploit the fact that Abbott played with one hand, but their tactics were never effective. Today, Abbott works as a motivational speaker, living in California with his wife, two children and their dog. His parents still live in Michigan, where he grew up. Abbott and his family take the summer off each year to stay at the lake and visit with family and friends.

The Pamela Positive: Dag Hammarskjold Gives Hope to the World

Dag Hammarskjold was such a wonderful model of what the U.N. can be and do.  As Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1953 to 1961, Hammarskjold was known for his unrelenting energy in striving to create fairness, harmony, peace and collaboration in many corners of our world.  He represented hope and reconciliation for so many.

Hammarskjold flew around the world to try to help so many countries needing support–and independent of whether there was an economic interest there, as it should be.  He acted as a force for the U.N., representing fair involvement for all countries: for example, during one Arab crisis in 1958, the U.S. and Britain sent troops to help Lebanon and Jordan. But Hammarskjold was able to get removal of these troops, and one-sided involvement in the crisis, to stop. He then brokered Egypt lifting its blockade of Syria (which would not join the Arab League.)

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In the 1950s he helped obtain the release of U.S. airmen held captive in China. In approaching the Suez Crisis, when Egypt nationalized the canal, Hammarskjold was able to broker French, British and Egyptian collaboration to keep it open.  Meanwhile, Israel attacked Egypt and the peace process was upset.  With Mr. Hammarskjold’s leadership, U.N. Forces were able to maintain a peaceful solution until a longer term solution was reached.  Laos faced extreme danger and he was able to place UN representatives there, which provided watchful protection.  He became part of a very longterm process against apartheid, meeting several times with the Union of South Africa and striving to open up attitudes of equality and fairness regarding race.

Hammarskjold’s last challenge was the crisis in the Congo where violent civil war was ensuing. Here he had brokered leaders to  meet in neutral territory to resolve the conflict.   Unfortunately, his plane was shot down and he did not survive.

Dag Hammarskjold was mourned by the world. He was seen as an extremely strong leader led by principles; absolutely tireless and needing little sleep. It was as if he were “on call” for the world.

“The world in which I grew up in was dominated by principles and ideals…I inherited a belief that no life was more satisfactory than one of selfless service to your country or humanity.  This sacrifice required a sacrifice of all personal interests, but likewise the courage to stand up unflinchingly for your convictions.”

Hammarskjold also created a meditation room or peace room in the U.N.  It is a place only for thoughts, no words, and embraces all types of prayers.  There is a stone in the middle of the room with nothing on it, and yet a shaft of light shines directly there. It is dedicated as an altar to harmony and freedom that is worshipped in many forms, by different countries and peoples, in many varied ways all over the world.

The Pamela Positive: Olympic Trainer and Nike Co-Founder Bill Bowerman Tells Us, It’s Already Inside

Everything you need is already inside. Just do it.” – Bill Bowerman

I love Bill Bowerman’s quote, as he speaks to the potential and belief in each one of us…  We should always strive to be our best and to believe in ourselves, even if we don’t always achieve our immediate goal.  The importance is in the process and our motives.

We should treat ourselves and others with the utmost care, meaning, “we believe!”  The alternative is costly to our health, to what we can achieve, and to what the world will miss…

What I love is that Bill Bowerman translated this belief across many areas — personal values, sports training and business. Believing isn’t relegated to any sector!

Bill Bowerman was a track and field coach for the University of Oregon.  In his 24 year career he trained 31 Olympic athletes, twelve American record holders, 51 All-Americans and 24 NCAA champions.  One year he won 4 NCAA titles.   In 1964 he became the co-founder of Nike.  He and his wife Barbara were married for more than 60 years.

The Pamela Positive: Undertake Something So Great You Cannot Accomplish It Unaided

Phillips Brooks, an educator and spiritual leader, advised us to push ourselves into the unknown for a special reason: To become spiritual.

Well, you might ask, “Why is being spiritual so important? I simply want to create a great company, write a book, or scale Mount Kilimanjaro.”

The qualities it takes to do any of the above, and anything miraculous, cannot be seen. They are:

Perseverance: Don’t ever think of giving up…
Thoughtfulness: Care in building a team…
Inspirational: Being able to paint your vision in a way that excites others and compels them to take action…

You must have these qualities to build successful relationships and enduring companies.  Yet all of these are qualities which are not required in school, home or job.  And yet they are the invisible glue which will allow you “…to undertake something so great you cannot accomplish it unaided.”
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They are not material or physical. They are spiritual.

“We never become truly spiritual by sitting and wishing to become so. You must undertake something so great that you cannot accomplish it unaided.”  – Phillips Brooks

Phillips Brooks was an American clergyman in the Episcopal church during the 19th century.  He published several books of lectures and sermons, as well as authoring the popular Christmas carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”  He was highly regarded as a preacher and a patriot.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Do All the Good You Can.”

“Do all the good you can
By all the means you can
In all the ways you can
In all the places you can
At all the times you can
To all the people you can
As long as ever you can.”

– John Wesley

John Wesley (1703-1791) was the founder of the Methodist movement, along with his brother, Charles. Wesley went to Christ Church College, Oxford, and taught at Oxford’s Lincoln College. He preached in Georgia and throughout England, giving over 40,000 sermons in his lifetime. One of Wesley’s best-known doctrines is that of “salvation by faith.” He also emphasized striving for “Christian Perfection,” where the believer lived by the love of God. He was engaged with social issues such as prison reform and the abolitionist movement. Methodism is now considered a separate denomination of Christianity, although in Wesley’s lifetime it was within the Anglican church. At the time of Wesley’s death, there were 135,000 Methodists; today, they number some 70 million.