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LEADERSHIP IS A PROCESS OF SOCIAL INFLUENCE, WHICH MAXIMISES THE EFFORTS OF OTHERS TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF A SHARED GOAL.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Gen. David Petraeus has a clear view of leadership, as Maj. John Patrick Gallagher recounts in the book Leadership Lessons of the White House Fellows: Learn How To Inspire Others, Achieve Greatness and Find Success in Any Organization by Charles Garcia. One day when Petraeus was a colonel in the 82nd Airborne Division, he asked his soldiers to name the number one leadership priority of the brigade.
Integrity? Marksmanship? No, the correct answer turned out to be physical fitness. The brigade thought Petraeus was joking, until the colonel began leading his soldiers through an intensive 75-minute exercise drill every morning. And soon his point became clear: The workouts drove the brigade to greater alertness and energy, as well as more pride in themselves and their unit.
As Gallagher puts it, "Self-discipline and being able to perform under pressure and exist outside our comfort zone would be the key that unlocked our success."
The word "exercise" derives from a Latin root that means "to maintain, to keep, to hold off." That means we should exercise to maintain our health, to keep our sanity and to ward off the temptations that lead us down unhealthy paths. Do you spend enough time walking, jogging, swimming or lifting weights?
What we consider "exercise" today is really a natural part of life, but in our current world, we have to make a conscious effort to make it part of our daily routine. Just a few generations ago, walking was a major form of transportation! Our evolution from hunters and gatherers, who walked to get from one area to another, to a sedentary automobile/train/plane civilisation has forced us to look at exercise in a different way.