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I‘ve been trying to think about the idea of Sincerity. Specifically how sincerity relates to being a leader. You can talk all day long about what you’re going to do, but until people see you doing it, they won’t believe you.
Or believe in you…
Have you ever heard of the term “lead by example?”
Leading by example is surely the best way to be a great leader. But to do that you have to be truly sincere in your belief in what it is you’re doing…
There is a great story about sincerity — as it applies to Leadership from the book Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield.
The book is about Spartan warrior culture. He tells the story of King Leonidas and his 300 spartans who fought and died defending their homeland against what is said to have been thousands and thousands of Persian invaders.
There is a chapter about a lesser known part of the story; when the king and his army of 300 arrived at the spot where they would be having the battle the next day, there were remnants of what was once a defensive stone wall or battlement. The King ordered his men to rebuild the wall as quickly as they could so they could use it for themselves.
His captains and sergeants began to discuss and plan on the best way to rebuild it. One said that the wall should be as tall as two men, one said that it should be short but wide, while another argued that it should have firing positions for their bowmen. Meanwhile all the other Spartans just sat around and watched their leaders argue and fight over the “best” way to do it…
In seeing his men in disarray and lacking clear leadership, King Leonidas himself walked over to one of the piles of rocks and just started picking them up and pilling them back up to form a wall. When his Spartans saw what he was doing, they all cheered “AROO!” (which is the Spartan war cry) and they all fell into the work right along side their king. Every last one…
King Leonidas never stopped, even when he saw his men working and as the pile started to resemble a real wall he said to them;
Nothing too fancy, men. For a wall of stone will not preserve us, but a wall of warriors shall.
If you truly believe in what you are doing then show those around you that you sincerely believe it is the right way to do it by acting on it instead of just talking about it.
Aim to inspire first and you will win the battle whatever it may be.