You don’t have to be Gandhi to be a successful leader

| 15/05/2012

(CNS): Leadership is in all of us and should not be relegated to the obvious great global leaders in history, according to Tom McCallum, from Shirlaws, speaking at this week’s Nurses Conference held at the Marriott Beach Resort. McCallum urged everyone in the audience to think about their own abilities as leaders, even if that leadership was simply to inspire one person to excel. Drawing on the words of the late Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, McCallum said that Jobs’ motto that he himself had come to live by was following his heart and intuition to lead him through life and that everything else was secondary. In addition, the ability to care was what made such world leaders great.

The medical profession already practiced caring every single day in their jobs, he said.

Those in the medical profession should not believe that leadership was only attainable for people “higher up than themselves” such as the great historical leaders like Gandhi, Martin Luther King Junior, Churchill and Steve Jobs, McCallum said to the audience of nurses and other medical practitioners. Everyone had it in them to become leaders, to influence a group of people or just one person to achieve a goal, he confirmed.

“If we think that leadership is beyond us we give ourselves an excuse not to expect it from ourselves every day,” he said, asking the audience to think about the potential that would be held back if people did not assume the role of leader.

In his roleas a business coach, McCallum turned the presentation back on the audience and challenged them to think about a time in their lives when an individual had been inspired by them or they had been inspired by someone else.  This inspiration may have come at an unexpected moment and may have even been forgotten by those doing the inspiring, he said. One audience member said that just by attending this seminar she had been inspired to become a leader in her own field.

McCallum played a video clip of the late Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, who, he said, had been a profound influence over his own life. In the video Jobs said that people ought to live each day as if it was their last. People should follow their hearts and their intuition when making life decisions because they somehow always knew what you wanted to become. Everything was secondary, Jobs had said. McCallum said that he had come to learn to live by such a creed.

McCallum went on to quote marketing guru Seth Godin, who had written in a recent blog that the simple antidote to a corporatised, unfeeling, profit-maximising world was to: “Care more than you need to, more often than expected, more completely than the other guy.”

Caring allowed the great leaders of the past such as Gandhi, Mother Theresa and Steve Jobs to achieve the great things they did. The medical profession already did this every single day in their jobs, McCallum said. 

“You already have this; it’s what you do,” he said.

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