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The Supreme Test that All Leaders Must Face

Aug 17, 2007
Do you know the supreme test that all leaders must meet? Leaders that do not meet this test are finished as leaders.

The entrepreneurs of new business starts and established businesses must all meet this test too. No matter what position you have, if you can meet this test, life will be good. You cannot buy it and you will not learn it in school either.

First, let us define what leadership is. Dwight Eisenhower, perhaps defined it best when he said, "Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it."

One of the great modern day business thinkers, retired professor Peter Drucker, defines leadership thusly: "Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." It is hard to argue with his definition.

The best way to describe the supreme test that all leaders must face is by this question: How does a leader handle defeat? This will define a leader's ability more than any other quality. It is true for all leaders whether in business, journalism, government or network marketing.

The defining question is, "Does the leader take defeat as final?" True leaders learn from their defeat and do not let it stop them. True leaders see defeat just as an educational incident. If defeat results in some lessons learned, then the leader has not been defeated.

Failures and defeats are just steps up the ladder of success. No good leaders quit when the going get tough. When they do meet failure, they dig down and try again. They try something new and better that they learned from their defeat.

The business world is a place of conflict; a place of gains and losses of ups and downs like a roller coaster. Leadership is not a pleasant, comfortable office, where all you do is sit at a big desk and become spoiled by pretty people and flattered by executives.

Leadership is not a mere matter of signing checks and filling out forms. It is a matter of will power, tenacity and motivation.

It is a tragic fact that most would be leaders are beaten leaders who stay beaten and regard their defeat as the final nail in their coffin. They do not see themselves as rising again. They have lost their motivation to try again.

The biggest club in the world is the "down and out club." You can see the members of it swarming through every city, every government. Network marketing's members from the "down and out club" are everywhere too. Can you see why strong leadership is so important to any organization?

Most people are brittle and easily broken. They are like a glass vase that falls from the kitchen counter and shatters.

Most people start out in life merrily going along until they hit the first rock. Their tendency is to fold their tent and go home for it is all over for them.

These people might do very well in a world filled with cushions, but they are not equipped for a world filled with stone.

Too many people get into a business when they should never have left the nursery. They go through life sniveling, "Somebody hit me." They blame everyone and everything for their problems and seldom accept responsibility for their own actions.

Too many are given an easy start in life. They grew up with things handed to them. They believe that business is mainly a matter of counting the money and spending it.

These fair-weather travelers are demoralized by the first storm and terrified by their first defeat. After a bad storm, they are usually found among the wreckage.

When people want to be leaders, they must prove that they do not break or crack under pressure. They must not resign under fire.

Many of our ablest business leaders failed at first. However, they carried on. Look at the likes of Harlan Sanders and Forrest Shaklee, all failures in life until they reached retirement age.

When most people were retired, they started new businesses, KFC and Shaklee Products that thrived and made rich people out of them and hundreds of others. They thrived when most people their age were shrinking from life. They became great leaders who had thousands of people following them.

Failures and defeats are unavoidable. They are just as unavoidable in business as they are in sport.

When you suffer at the hands of defeat, lick your chops, get up and go after the prize again. If you quit, you are just fodder for the winners.

In all pioneer work, in all experimental work, in all new and existing ventures defeats are unavoidable. They are, however, steps up the ladder, which we must climb to success. Even defeat is useful.

All inventors know this. Edison, for instance, made a habit of trying one thing after another until, by sheer persistence he found what he wanted. In this way, by thousands of failures, he invented electric light.

Defeat has spurred on many leaders because it proved that their job was a hard one. Let defeat make you stronger. Let that be a lesson learned.

Become stronger even when the obstacles seem insurmountable.
About the Author
Bob Bergeth currently leads and consults with thousands of network marketing entrepreneurs. His specialty is recruiting, training, motivating and leading. He has a Ph.D., is a former vice president of sales & marketing and Prentice-hall author. He publishes a popular newsletter, The Freedom Express: An Insiders Analysis of Home-based Businesses. Contact Bob at
Wealth Building 101 or his web site http://www.mymangosteen.com/dream/
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