Eleanor Roosevelt on Becoming


. . . One very smart lady, one very outstanding leader!

Eleanor Roosevelt was married to President Franklin Roosevelt, but she was an outstanding leader in her own right. I am a big fan of reading the genre of books that I call Leadership Biographies. These are not full biographies, but are books that teach core lessons of leadership and illustrate them through the biographical details of a person's life. That is the category of the book: Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way: Strategies From the First Lady of Courage.

Here is one thought from the First Lady that helps us understand why she became the great leader she was.

"I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday."

She understood a profound principle.
Being comes from doing.
  Doing comes from choices.
     Your decisions have enormous consequences.
        Among the greatest consequences, your BEING - WHO YOU BECOME. 

I get frustrated when I hear people (some of them leaders) talk naively and say things like, "Being is more important then doing!" I can only say - that's silly. How does BEING come about? Eleanor knew BEING comes by doing and doing comes from the choices one makes. To do some things and not to do other things. 

She BECAME a great because she CHOSE great actions that CREATED a great BEING (character, virtue, heart, soul, whatever you want to add).

Please, please, please - do not underestimate the power of your choices. You are today - the sum total of the choices you have made in the past. The Apostle Paul reminds us - we will reap what we sow. For good . . . or for bad. Choices always bring Consequences.

Now, here is the VITAL idea. Do you want to BE someone different? Then you will have to BECOME that new person. You will BECOME that new person as your persistently and consistently CHOOSE TO DO what is needed to BECOME what God desires you to become. (Sorry for all those caps. Not shouting - just being URGENT!).

So - who do you want to BE?
What kind of leader do you want to BE?
Or spouse, or friend, or parent, or worker, or anything else?

Then, figure out what good choices will bring that to pass. Take the long view. It won't happen overnight. A new BEING is forged in a process that is long, slow, deep, difficult and particular, as the Spirit of God hovers over your life.

Here is one good choice. Read great leadership biographies like the one on Eleanor Roosevelt. Learn from her example, listen to her teaching, imbibe her lessons. 

May the Spirit Hover Over Your Choices Today

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International

BrianRice@lcileaders.org