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Thursday 27 Aug 20

The TakeawayHow Two of the Most Successful Leaders Became Successful

Remarkable Lessons from Successful Leaders

Leadership is a complex concept; there are many types of leadership that look entirely different depending on the circumstances.

However, there are certain aspects of leadership can be applied to anyone in any position.

Below are the stories of two of the most influential leaders of all time.

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi, an anti-war activist with a global legacy as the leader of India’s independence movement.

It is believed that three things truly ignited his passion for non-violent civil disobedience:

  • Arranged marriage
    After his arranged marriage at the age of only 13, he decided to rebel against his religious upbringing. He smoked, ate meat and committed theft crimes.

  • Discrimination
    At the age of 24, he moved to South Africa where he witnessed the horrific discrimination and racial segregation in South African society.

  • Racism
    7th June 1893, Gandhi was thrown off a train by a white man for refusing to give up his seat; this was his first act of non-violent civil disobedience.

He spent his life preaching about non-violence, tolerance and love.

He was then murdered by a Hindu extremist with a semiautomatic pistol at point-blank range.

Through his determination, effort, and sacrifice, Mahatma single-handedly inspired millions of people to stand up for what’s right and take action against racism, sexism, and many other political issues.

What Can We Learn from Mahatma Gandhi?

Anyone can make a difference and leave a legacy; we have to fight for what we believe in and keep going until we succeed in making a difference.

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking; the physicist who proved that determination and positivity can triumph even the most severe limitations.

At the age of 21, Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with ALS and was given only 2 years to live. He completely outshone that and lived a further 55 years.

He pursued a PhD in cosmology at Cambridge University and through his thought-provoking theories on quantum physics and black holes, he soon became arguably the most well-known physicist since Albert Einstein.

One of Hawking’s most renowned quotes is:

“If you are disabled, it is probably not your fault, but it is no good blaming the world or expecting it to take pity on you. One has to have a positive attitude and must make the best of the situation that one finds oneself in; if one is physically disabled, one cannot afford to be psychologically disabled as well…”

What Can We Learn from Stephen Hawking?

A positive mindset and attitude paired with the sheer refusal to give up is the key to overcoming any obstacles you face.

How Do these Lessons Relate to Professional Development?

Mahatma Gandhi and Stephen Hawking were very different people, working towards different goals and overcoming completely different obstacles.

However, they both portrayed many key leadership skills that can relate to anyone in any position.

Their determination, dedication, and influence allowed them to achieve remarkable things and have a hugely positive impact on the world.

All three of these skills can be applied to leadership and management:

  • Determination
    Management isn’t always an easy role, but true leaders have the determination to persevere and guide their teams through difficult times.

  • Dedication
    Building strong working relationships can be difficult, so leaders must be dedicated to and patient with their team

  • Influence
    One of the key aspects of leadership is influence; leaders should be able to get their team behind goals and visions.

“History has been written not by the most talented but by the most motivated.” Peter Drucker


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