To Do vs. NOT To Do – What is More Important?

“To do or not to do, that is the question.”

yes no

Should we study leaders who have gotten it wrong?  Should we only study those who have gotten it right?  Does such a leader actually exist?  These are great questions which have been asked within a fantastic Google+ group which I am a member.  The name of it is Leading with Giants and the discussion has already become extremely divided.

Would it be wise to study a leader like Hitler?  Many would say no, although I would not quickly agree.  Obviously, I completely disagree with everything Adolf Hitler stood for and did.  Does that mean leaders should not explore his life and what he did well/poorly?  I think not.  If you have not read Andy Andrews (@andyandrews) book, How Do You Kill 11 Million People?, you should.  In his book, he discloses one of the strategies Hitler deployed, lying.  By understanding this, we understand why it is so critical we always tell the truth.

Abraham Lincoln did many things you would not want to replicate for much of his life, but his leadership as President provides many lessons.

One of the most beneficial parts of reading someone’s biography is to learn what caused them to get a black eye from the school of hard knocks.  If I see what you did to get punched in the face, hopefully I can take different actions to avoid it.  How does a child learn to be afraid of certain things?  They do them, feel the pain associated with the action and learn not to do it again.

There is much to learn from bad leadership, and it should be studied.

This is not to say we should not study what to do, because we should.  It is to say we need to commit our lives to learning what to do AND what not to do.

Please join the Lead With Giants TweetChat hosted by Dan Forbes (@danvforbes) and Stosh Walsh at 6pm CST TONIGHT.  You can find it on Twitter at #LeadWithGiants.

What do you think?  Can we learn from bad leaders?  Leave a comment below.

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  1. Dan Forbes says:

    Thanks for your post. It will certainly add value to the #LeadWithGiants TweetChat this evening.

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