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The Nature of Leadership – Remarks from Stacey Easterling

Resource type: Video

Atlantic Philanthropies Program Officer Stacey Easterling recently spoke about the responsibility, joys and burdens of true leadership at the 2010 Aging in America Conference in Chicago (March, 2010). Atlantic Philanthropies is a major sponsor of the Direct Care Alliance.

Excerpts from her remarks follow:

Leadership is about having the courage to face your demons every day—whether its public speaking or making a difficult decision or making a mistake—in order to learn and grow from it. Leadership is being able to accept the fact that although you will try to do everything perfectly all the time, you will not, and being OK with that. Being a leader is learning from those mistakes and dusting yourself off after the fall and getting right back on the horse.

Jesse Jackson has a wonderful quote about leaders:

Leaders must be tough enough to fight, tender enough to cry, human enough to make mistakes, humble enough to admit them, strong enough to absorb the pain, and resilient enough to bounce back and keep on moving.

You must lead. YOU must now be mentors and advisors to others who are on the path. Stand proud on the shoulders of those who came before you and extend your hand out to bring another with you. Don’t wait to be asked. Impose yourself on others. They’ll thank you later!

There’s no turning back now—-It’s about continuing to learn, continuing to improve, continuing to grow. I don’t know if you ever really stop growing as a leader. Leadership development is a dynamic process, a road you should always stay on moving forward. There is a secret that we’ll let you in on—a good leader is never really done. They are always trying to find ways to get better.

For you and me, the good news from leadership experts is that leaders are often born but they can also be made.

In closing this letter, I found a very cool quote to leave you with:

Leadership and success begins on the extra mile. Those among us who craft extraordinary careers and spectacular lives are those who spend most of their time giving their best out on the extra mile. Yes, ordinary people don’t, but who ever said you were ordinary?”

I look forward to seeing each of you on the journey taking that extra mile.

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