I check out a lot of blogs and articles on leadership and I get to see a lot of them via recommendations on Twitter. Some people will try to disavow their sharing of links by saying that just because they shared it doesn’t mean they don’t endorse it; I think if one hasn’t proven trustworthy enough to be able to say you endorse everything they put out then you shouldn’t share the link; who’s with me on this one?

Strike!
Scott Ableman via Compfight

In any case I read a lot of amazing stuff, and I’m always glad to see that there are so many people who truly understand what leadership is all about. However, that means when I see something that I not only don’t like but totally disagree with, well, I won’t say I get depressed but it makes me start questioning people’s motives for saying certain things, even when they try to explain themselves.

Thus was an article I read last night that was passed along via someone I’m connected to on Twitter. I’m not going to link to it because I don’t want to give it much publicity; yeah, it bothered me that much. Its general premise was telling people not to try to be the best because they’ll never be the best, and instead try to be unique.

This was a blog on leadership; are you kidding me? The premise behind it was that trying to be the best isn’t possible because only one person can be the best, so it’s better to be unique because you’ll draw people to you and it’ll help to make you a better leader.

I can’t agree with such a premise and I said so on Twitter; I never heard back from either the person who shared the link or the person who wrote the article, but if anything good came out of it I hope it’s this post.

Let me make my point here. No matter what anyone does in life, of course they should try to be the best. Without the best, no one ever wins anything on their own. Did someone tell Mary Lou Retton not to try to be the best? Michael Jordan? Muhammad Ali? Sure, we live in a time where there are a lot of athletes and entertainers who make a lot of money by being average, but they weren’t always average. In their own realm all of them were top players, some of them the best on their team or in their league. Some musicians caught a lucky break and had that one big hit and lived the rest of their lives off that one song, no matter how much other music they put out.

However, every single one of them, entertainer or athlete, always tried to be the best, and if they couldn’t attain that they tried to be the best they could be. Even Dennis Rodman, one of the most unique basketball players ever, was one of the best rebounders and defenders in the game because he wanted to be the best at it. Without someone like him, it’s possible that Detroit, Chicago and Los Angeles have one or two fewer championships to their name.

Don’t you want your employees to try their best? if you’re in a bowling league, no matter how bad someone is, aren’t you hoping their giving you their best? Sure, I’ve stated in this blog that sometimes you need those middle of the road workers because they’re very steady. And yet, you want those people trying their best just to reach mediocre aren’t you? We all want people who care working with us, and we want them to give it their all, even if it’s not great.

That’s what leadership is about. That’s what pride is about. That’s what winning is about. Be the best you can be; try the hardest you can. If you give your all and it’s not enough, no matter; at least you “did it”. Agree?
 

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