From Obstacles to Greatness

In his book, Holy SweatTim Hansel speaks of a common thread that runs through the lives of great leaders.

“In 1962, Victor and Mildred Goertzel published a revealing study of 413 famous and exceptionally gifted people. The study was called Cradles of Eminence. These two researchers spent years trying to understand the source of these peoples’ greatness, the common thread which ran through all of these outstanding peoples’ lives. The most outstanding fact was that almost all of them, 392, had to overcome very difficult obstacles in order to become who they were. Their problems became opportunities instead of obstacles.” 

It is this magnificent gift that differentiates great leaders – a mindset focused on problem solving and goal accomplishment. One which sees doors where others see walls. One that sees learning where others see trials. One that embraces the excitement of the challenge and the growth that it brings. Obstacles are the building blocks of the great leaders’ emotional, spiritual and intellectual strength. Remember always the wise counsel of Mahatma Gandhi: “ Strength does not come from winnings. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” Never, ever surrender. May you always see opportunities and not obstacles and change the world.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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2 Responses to From Obstacles to Greatness

  1. Jack Beach says:

    “Strength does not come from winnings. Your struggles develop your strengths…” This is true not only of leaders themselves but of those in their charge. Great leaders are able to uplift the human spirit in pursuit of difficult but worthy goals. They inspire by not only identifying the gains the mission offers but the challenge it requires. They motivate not through the promise of extrinsic rewards but by the formidableness of the work itself and the opportunity to see if one measures up.

  2. Greg Licciardi says:

    Love this – thank you Michael!

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