Posted on December 6, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized
Shooting for the Moon
From the “Really Leading” Series
by Robert B. Camp
On September 12th, 1962, John Fitzgerald Kennedy stunned an audience at Rice University by announcing that the United States would go to the moon within that decade.  That challenge was fulfilled on July 20th, 1969, when Apollo II successfully set down on the moon.
One of the attributes of great leaders is that they challenge us.  They challenge us to give the full measure of who we are.  They find in us courage and skill and passion far beyond any we see within ourselves.
When we’re around such leaders, we are often frustrated by their unbending desire to achieve the impossible, yet they seek the impossible not for themselves, but for loftier reasons.  In some cases, like Kennedy’s, they seek it for all humankind.  We sometimes resent them because they require more of us than is easy, more than we had intended to give.
I had a high school football coach like that.  I was gifted to be the fastest player on my team.  I was also big and well muscled.  I should have been a natural, but my head told me that I wasn’t as good as others, and that held me back.  My coach pushed me.  He put me in situations in which I was forced to overcome the very obstacles that my mind had set.  He extracted from me more than I thought I had to give.
Great leaders do that to us.  They refuse to accept what we think we can do and push us to achieve what they somehow know we can do.  They have a vision for us and they passionately challenge us to reach it.
So, two attributes of a leader:

  1. They have a vision.
  2. They ignite within us skill & passion far beyond what we thought we possessed.