Wednesday, 13 May 2015

“Stories of Three Inspiring Leaders with their Passion, Excellence and Commitment”– Professor M.S.Rao

“Great leaders move us. They ignite our passion and inspire the best in us.” - Daniel Goleman.

I personally appreciate three traits that lead to an amazing success – passion, excellence and commitment. Most leaders possess these three traits that make them stand out from others.  Let us look at three inspiring leaders who emphasized passion, excellence and commitment.


When you look at Steve Jobs, he was noted for his passion towards technology. Although many other opportunities knocked at his doors, he never gave up his passion towards technology which made him as a legendary innovation leader globally. He co-founded Apple Computers in a garage and strove hard throughout his life. He took Apple to great heights. He was fired by the company due to the differences. Steve Jobs did not lose his hope, and did not give up his passion. He followed his heart, started his company NeXT and did well. When the Apple was close to bankruptcy, Steve Jobs was requested by the company to join. He joined the Apple and brought out many innovations and took the company to great heights globally. Steve Jobs said, “Winners don’t quit because they are passionate about their work. If you are not passionate, you will quit because when things become difficult our will say this is not my kind of stuff.”  Apple is a great turnaround story under the leadership of Steve Jobs. He made a difference in the lives of people. Hence, you must follow your heart to make it big in your life.


Whatever the area of interest you are into, you must strive for excellence. If you don’t emphasize excellence, you will be left out in the race. Since the world is highly competitive, it is essential to adapt, update and excel in your area of interest.  If you work hard sincerely and consistently in your area of interest for 10,000 hours, you will become a successful professional and leader. If you continue working hard further in the same area, you will be able to brand as an expert globally.  Abraham Lincoln’s father was a cobbler.  Although Lincoln had differences with his father he always respected his father’s profession. When an opposition leader in Senate commented upon Lincoln taking over as President being as the son of a cobbler, Lincoln took it in his stride and silenced his critic by asserting that he was proud of his father who excelled in his work as a great cobbler.  Hence, we must always take pride in what we are doing.  There is nothing like good or bad profession.  All professions are good when people work with excellence. Hence, emphasize excellence to remain relevant and stay ahead of times and technologies.


You must stand by your commitment, if you want to earn trust and confidence from others. Don’t go by short-term temptations. Think of long-term interests. Keep people before profit. Marshall Goldsmith shares his admiration for Frances Hesselbein and her commitment in his award-winning book Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts - Becoming the Person You Want to Be as follows:  A few years ago, Frances got an invitation to the White House. The White House date conflicted with her commitment to speak to a small nonprofit group in Denver. To most people this wouldn’t be a conundrum: A meeting with the president of the United States or an unpaid speech in Denver? We call the folks in Denver, explain the situation, offer to reschedule or promise to come back the next year. After all, it’s a pro bono. We’re doing the folks in Denver a favor. They’ll understand.  Frances went the other way. She told the White House she wouldn’t be attending. “I have a commitment,” she said. “They’re expecting me.” (The real kicker for Marshall Goldsmith, the cherry on top of this integrity sundae: Frances never told the Denver group about the White House invitation.)

To conclude, learn lessons from these inspiring leaders and acquire three great traits – passion, excellence and commitment to stand out and grow as a great leader.

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” -  Aristotle 

Secrets of Your Leadership Success - The 11 Indispensable E’s of a Leader by M. S. Rao (Shroff Publishers & Distributors)
Smart Leadership: Lessons for Leaders by M. S. Rao (Sterling Publishers)
Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts--Becoming the Person You Want to Be by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter (Crown Business, May 19, 2015)

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Professor M.S.Rao, India
Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants India
Listed in Marquis Who's Who in the World in 2013
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21 Success Sutras for Leaders: Top 10 Leadership Books of the Year (San Diego University) Amazon URL:

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