Stick to the Why
The representative from Kentucky made an odd suggestion. He felt the United States needed another war. He was actually advocating for the United States to go to war.
Henry Clay, who served in the House of Representatives and as a Senator, said that a war would be beneficial.
Why would anyone advocate a war?
Beschloss writes, “He noted that soon the giants of the Revolution would all be gone…and the country needed a ‘new race of heroes.’”
That’s actual history. Those words were spoken. That idea was put forth.
Clay believed that America needed new heroes. Those who fought in the American Revolution were aging and soon would be gone. To keep the American spirit alive and pride at a maximum, Clay wanted another war that would give birth to new names that citizens could believe in.
There’s the blunder.
Clay failed to realize, at least in this instance, that America was a cause, and that cause was freedom.
As a leader you should champion freedom and honor those who make it possible. Furthermore, don’t forget your why. Ask:
- Why did we start the organization?
- Why do people work here?
- Why are we doing what we’re doing?
- Why does the organization exist?
Remember the why.
Henry Clay made America about those who fought in the war. Most certainly, they should be honored. But the “why” of America was and is bigger than that.
Leaders are tempted to make the organization about the brightest team members, a leader’s ego, or an attempt at a legacy. Don’t be drawn into that trap. Instead, stick to the why.
Keep that message front and center and repeat it often. You’ll know that you’re on the right track when you incorporate these things into your own leadership:
- Honor your team.
- Celebrate their accomplishments.
- Build and coach them every day.
- Remember why the organization exists.
Do those four things and you’ll never lose your focus.
Brian Sanders serves as Executive Vice President of Positive Alternative Radio. He regularly writes and speaks on leadership topics.
His new book, “Leadership Endurance,” can be purchased HERE.