The Fulfillment of Leadership

Quote of the Week

“There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”
— John F. Kennedy

The Fulfillment of Leadership

by Bill George and Peter Sims

“Being an authentic leader means taking risks. I quoted Theodore Roosevelt’s famous 1910 speech at the Sorbonne, ‘The Man in the Arena.’

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly. . .who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Are you prepared to enter the arena, to dare greatly, to know the great enthusiasms and the great devotions, and to spend yourself in a worthy cause? If you are, in the end you will also know the triumph of high achievement.

That is the fulfillment of leadership (George & Sims, 2007, p. 202).”

Reference: George, Bill and Sims, Peter (2007). True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.”

Reprinted with permission from the OSU Leadership Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, (614) 292-3114,

Coaching Call to Action

Where are you playing it safe and being in inaction? What is it costing you? Where will you take a stand and make a difference?