Done correctly. Being a leader of anything. Is hard. It takes honesty, commitment, understanding, determination, empathy, courage, fairness & selflessness…

Leading our team in our technology solutions business is an honour. But I do often feel unqualified & inadequate to take on such a task. It’s so important. Peoples futures are on the line. Not just mine.

Which. I think. Leads me to study & read so much about so many things. Including leadership, team building, business strategy & life skills.

Often. I turn to historical figures who show great leadership in times of real adversity. People like George Washington. He staved off a coup from his own army during the revolutionary war in 1783.

The war was nearly over & the American dream of independence nearly died at the hands of their own army. Who were ready to march on Congress due to lack of food, equipment & pay.

For General Washington it could have been the final hammer blow. He began the war a vigorous man in his early forties. Now 51 he was exhausted, greying hair, bad teeth & failing eyesight.

It wasn’t a stirring speech from Washington. Full of strength & vigour telling his army why they should fight on for independence. No. In that moment Washington knew instantly he had to show understanding & empathy. And show that he too felt the same as them.

“Gentlemen” he said. “Will you permit me to put on my spectacles,” drawing them from a pocket. “For I have not only grown grey but almost blind in the service of my country.” The act astonished many, because few knew that his eyes were weak.

Once an imposing figure, he now seemed vulnerable, tired, human. Instantly, they all realised how much Washington had sacrificed for the American cause. Just as they had.

Most men were deeply touched, and some wept openly. In seconds, with a simple, humble gesture, Washington had won over his audience. The General finished detailing how he would support them in gaining improved conditions. Removed his glasses & left.

The rest is history. America achieved its independence & Washington became president in 1789.

Who in history do you respect as a great leader & why?