I’ve had the delightful experience of being able to interview inspirational CEOs and business leaders over the past months as I prepare for my upcoming book. I continue to be amazed and inspired by their stories, their competence, and generosity. I leave every interview feeling energized and inspired and I want to “be better” just by hearing their story.
Below are a few of the quotes that have been memorable:
“Leadership does not accrue to those with longest seniority-but to those who earn it every day.” — Eric Norwood, CEO, Dekalb Medical Center, Decatur, GA
“Leadership is not about being the smartest person in the room, but getting the smartest people in the room.” — Steve Green, CEO and President of Stephen Green Properties, Savannah, GA
“You gain control by giving it up. My success has increased when I’ve given up control, let people make mistakes…they’re our best teachers.” — Phillip Wolfe, CEO of Gwinnett Medical Center, Duluth, GA
“If you’re not living on the edge-you’re taking up too much room.” — Arnie Silverman, President and CEO of Silverman Construction Program Management, Atlanta, GA (although he says the quote is not original to him, I heard it from him)
Aren’t these fascinating ideas? Leadership is earned not accrued, leadership isn’t about being the smartest but attracting the smartest people, living on the edge is important and giving up control is the very means of gaining it. What if more leaders knew and lived from the belief you have to earn respect every day? What if leaders weren’t threatened or fearful of hiring people smarter than themselves? What if more of us stepped out of our comfort zone and ‘lived on the edge’? And can you see the power and absolute truth of gaining control by releasing it?
I see a workforce where ideas flow, where collaboration is a daily habit, innovation is the norm and excellence is a verb that is lived not a noun in a mission statement on the wall.
It feels so good to be surrounded with such impactful and insightful leaders. I think a brilliant future exists and awaits for all who follow the above advice. Now, Go to the Edge!