I discovered recently there is a “Bumper Sticker Leadership” book authored by Randy Lisk full of “one-liner wisdom on life and business.” I won’t include any of his bumper stickers in this post since the book credits most of his quotes to others.
Instead, here are some random quips about leadership that might meet the definition for a stylish leadership bumper sticker.
- Keep the Wrong Path Short – Horace Longacre, a businessman and philanthropist I was privileged to know before his passing is credited with this quote. It reminds leaders that failure to quickly acknowledge a mistake or poor decision can be very costly.
- Not Everyone Can Buy a Cow – Curt Moyer, another businessman I knew is credited with this piece of wisdom. He learned the hard way that most leaders don’t have the talents or skills needed for all aspects of running a business. Hire people who can do what you can’t.
- Our Mind is Like a Parachute; It’s Only Good in a Crisis if We Open It – Short-term thinking often means we don’t get a second chance. Every skydiver knows their parachute gives them the opportunity to do it all again.
- Perceptions are Judgments that Have Become Opinions – Rather than judging the behaviors of others, leaders should learn to describe those behaviors instead. Judgments often form opinions and opinions will impact how we think and behave.
- I Know I’m Right; Just Ask Me – Leaders who reject the advice of others won’t last very long. Being the smartest person in the room, and acting like it, won’t inspire anyone to follow you.
- Intentions Have Impact – Whether good or bad, a leader’s intentions impact those they lead. Always consider how your words, behaviors, and decisions could affect others.
This is only a short list of common-sense wisdom that leaders would do well to consider. Please add your own in the comments section.
While leadership can’t be condensed into a set of slogans, these bumper sticker phrases remind us just how important the work really is.
Photo Credit: istockphoto.com