It’s All About Leadership

It’s All About Leadership

In the proverbial scenario where God gives you a chance to have dinner with any three individuals (living or deceased) and you get to choose, but you’re in the process of writing a book about Leadership and want some advice; I’d go with the following:



Vince Thomas Lombardi

June 11, 1913 – September 3, 1970



If you are any kind of football fan you know that Lombardi was the head coach of the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League from 1959-67, winning five league championships during his nine years.  Following a one-year retirement from coaching in 1968, he returned as head coach of the Washington Redskins for the 1969 season.

What made Vince legendary in the philosophy of Leadership is that his record in post-season play was 9–1, the loss coming in the first of those games, the 1960 NFL Championship Game.

I would be all-ears listening for the tidbits that made him “Coach” to the multitudes:”

    1. Leadership rests not only upon ability, not only upon capacity; having the capacity to lead is not enough. The leader must be willing to use it. His leadership is then based on truth and character. There must be truth in the purpose and  will power in the character.”
    2. “Leadership is based on a spiritual quality; the power to inspire, the power to    inspire others to follow.”
    3. “Having the capacity to lead is not enough. The leader must be willing to use it.”
    4. “A leader must identify himself with the group, must back up the group, even at the risk of displeasing superiors. He must believe that the group wants from him a sense of approval. If this feeling prevails, production, discipline, morale will be high, and in return, you can demand the cooperation to promote the goals of the company.”
    5. “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”



Ronald Wilson Reagan

February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004



Reagan was the 40th President of the United States (1981–1989) and the 33rd Governor of California (1967–1975). Born in Tampico, Illinois, he moved to Los Angeles, California in the 1930s. He began a career in filmmaking and later television, making 52 films and gaining enough success to make him a welcomed sound bite for the news media.

Originally a member of the Democratic Party, he switched to the Republican Party in 1962. With the momentum he picked up delivering a rousing speech in support of Barry Goldwater’s presidential candidacy in 1964, he won the California governorship, two years later and again in 1970. He was defeated in his run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968 as well as 1976, but won both the nomination and election in 1980.

Known as the Great Communicator, I would be sitting with rapt attention as he spoke between bites:

    1. “All great change in America begins at the dinner table.”
    2. “A leader, once convinced a particular course of action is the right one, must have the determination to stick with it and be undaunted when the going gets rough.”
    3. “Some people wonder all their lives if they’ve made a difference. The Marines don’t have that problem.”
    4. “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”
    5. “When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”



Lido Anthony Iacocca

October 15, 1924


Lee is an American business icon most commonly known for his revival of the Chrysler Corporation in the 1980s, serving as President and CEO from 1978 and additionally as chairman from 1979, until his retirement at the end of 1992.

He is the author (or co-author) of several books, including Iacocca: An Autobiography(with William Novak), and Where have all the Leaders Gone?

The Portfolio website named Iacocca the 18th greatest CEO of all time.  Our conversation at the dinner table would no doubt include:

    1. “Any supervisor worth his salt would rather deal with people who attempt too much than  with those who try too little.”
    2. “I forgot to  shake hands and be friendly. It was an important lesson about leadership.”
    3. “Motivation is everything. You can do the work of two people, but you can’t be two people. Instead, you have to inspire the next guy down the line and get him to inspire his people.”
    4. “Start with good people, lay out the rules, communicate with your employees, motivate them and reward them. If you do all those things effectively, you can’t miss.”
    5. “The speed of the boss is the speed of the team”.

After dinner, it looks like you might want to get back to working on the book.  Leadership — 15 Tips From Those That Know might be a good title.