This is good wisdom! The mystery of leadership is that we become ourselves, connected and learning and failing and succeeding forward. We are not born great, but arrive there (do we ever arrive) by the willingess to explore!
“The ends of the best stories are never evident in their beginnings, and the most accomplished lives are seldom preordained for success. When somebody says I never knew I had it in me, we must believe them—and use that belief as a bulwark against the notion that leaders begin with—rather than grow into—greatness.”
by Vince Boudreau, Dean, Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership
Over the years, we’ve brought scores of accomplished men and women to visit students in our leadership programs. Most of these men and women—businesspeople, policy makers, lawyers and public servants—come with some specific public concern or policy dilemma to discuss. But we always ask them to also talk about their lives, to recount how they have navigated their paths to success. These conversations matter immensely because too many of our students discount the uncertain and contingent character of successful trajectories, mistakenly assuming that the contours of a successful end are evident from the start. In making that mistake, they take themselves out of the picture, imagining that no road leads from where they are to where they want to be.
During these conversations, however, students will far more often hear stories of chance encounters or risky decisions that…
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