Image courtesy of istockphoto/chromatika
Robert Murray is an author, speaker, executive, chairman, advisor, and associate professor. His book It’s Already Inside: Nurturing Your Innate Leadership for Business and Life Success is a terrific blend of storytelling, personal experience and wise counsel that will make you laugh, cry and learn.
I recently had the opportunity to ask Bob a few questions about a wide range of topics.
Cultivate Your Inner Leader
Bob, let’s start with the title.
It’s Already Insidegives us a glimpse into your philosophy. You believe that leadership is innate, that everyone has the DNA to lead. How did you develop your philosophy?
Good question. I believe that over the years we have evolved with many characteristics that have helped human beings become who we are (the good and the bad!). Buried in the soup we call our DNA are so many lessons that have enabled us to grow, innovate and thrive. Leadership is one of those traits. Some don’t know it or have had their confidence and competence squelched by the conditioning of their parents, teachers, coaches, society, etc.
Leadership is not always about being the loudest, most charismatic or the most extroverted in the room. Leadership comes in all shapes, sizes and conditions. There are the traditional leaders that we are used to seeing in business and society. However, there are many leaders that silently toil away in organizations and use their abilities to influence decisions—or those that bolt from the office at 5:00 and go into the community to lead scout groups, volunteer organizations or little league teams. They are moms and dads that lead their families, their neighborhood and the local school PTA.
Work Harder Than Anyone Else
Terry Fox is the famous one-legged runner who inspired millions. You grew up with him and watched his struggle against cancer and his response. Watching him taught you some powerful lessons. For those of us who only watched or read about him, give us an inside view of what he was like.
Terry was the most determined and dedicated person I have ever met. His energy was infectious, and he inspired everyone around him to be their best too. You just couldn’t help digging deeper and working harder from his influence.
We’re often temporarily moved and motivated when we hear a story like Terry’s. But, how do you take Terry’s incredible attitude and let it really grab you and change you for good? What’s your best advice on cultivating such a daily attitude?
What I learned from Terry is forever imbedded in me as the person and the leader I am today. However, on those dark and cold days when I wake up with the feeling of, “Oh crap, I just don’t have it in me today,” I think of how Terry dragged himself out of a warm bed every day at 4 in the morning and faced the fight head-on. Then I start moving and I get my head back into the game.
Terry was proof to me that everything in life that you truly want is gained through working harder than anyone else and having the discipline to stay on the road less traveled.