The Evolution of Great Leaders

The Evolution of Great Leaders

Despite his flaws, and perhaps because of them, we find there is much more to consider about the late Nelson Mandela's development as a leader.

Nelson Mandela sacrificed the usual trappings of a good life – family, comfort, professional success – to spend 27 years as a prisoner of conscience in his fight against apartheid. He emerged to lead his nation as its president in 1994 and chose to forgive rather than seek revenge for past crimes, helping South Africans build a new social foundation.

What Would Winston Do?

What Would Winston Do?

In 1940, a war-weary Britain was on the verge of capitulation. Here's how Churchill turned it around--and what it means for you.

In 1940, when Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of Great Britain, the nation was in a state of severe crisis. Not only had its military suffered several setbacks in World War II, but the Prime Minister's war Cabinet, deeply demoralized, was pushing Churchill to reach out to Italy's Benito Mussolini to help orchestrate a truce with Hitler.

Lessons in Leadership: How Lincoln Became America's Greatest President

Lessons in Leadership: How Lincoln Became America's Greatest President

It wasn't Abraham Lincoln's strengths but the self-discipline with which he used those strengths for the right purpose.

There is much we can learn by studying Abraham Lincoln's journey from being just another politician to becoming America's greatest president.  (Wikipedia provides a compilation of "Historical rankings of Presidents of the United States" which makes it clear that in the eyes of many experts, and the public, Lincoln has consistently held this status).

How Heroes Inspire You to be Your Best

How Heroes Inspire You to be Your Best

When you study the lives of great leaders--their actions, thoughts, choices, struggles, failures, and triumphs--it unconsciously motivates you to be your best self every day. The second article in a four-part series.

Some time back, I was out with my wife and daughter for a night at the Metropolitan Opera. We were having such a marvelous evening infused with stirring arias, enveloped by the resplendent red carpets of the Met.  At the intermission, we sat down in the Met restaurant for dinner.  I was feeling so pleased with the idea that our daughter, at this tender age of seven, was getting to experience something as grand as this, imagining how she would grow up into someone with such refined sensibilities.

Why We All Need Heroes

Why We All Need Heroes

Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi, Susan B. Anthony, or Nelson Mandela. Pick one, or another great leader from history. It'll give you the courage to dream big--unabashedly--despite the odds.

"You are lucky in life if you have the right heroes.  I advise all of you, to the extent you can, to pick out a few heroes,"—Warren Buffett, Warren Buffett Speaks (2007).

We're all so jaded nowadays by any talk of heroes.  Our icons keep falling from grace, in politics, business, and sports. (At least our comic book heroes seem safe for now.)  Why then, you may ask, is Warren Buffett recommending that you look for heroes to study?