The Gift

“Although a simplistic and perhaps idealistic, way to look at leaders is to determine whether they “lead the way” or “point the way,” …does a leader say “Follow me,” or …”Do as I say and not as I do.”

“…In May of 1877, nearly a year after the great victory at the Little Bighorn, Crazy Horse surrendured to white authority at Fort Robinson in Nebraska Territory. There were simply no resources on which to live …To surrender…was a sickening prospect. But if he was anything, Crazy Horse was a realist. He was a selfless leader…he knew he had two choices: continue to fight and risk having all of his followers killed or surrender.

…When he and his followers arrived at Fort Robinson…Crazy Horse was the first to give up his horse and his gun–the very symbols of his warrior life and persona….it had to have been one of the most difficult–if not the most difficult–acts he ever did in his life. We do know this: He had to do it. It wouldn’t have been right for him to simply tell his 120 warriors to lay down their arms. He had to lead the way…His leadership under those most galling and difficult of moments gave courage to the 900 people who followed him into an uncertain future …leadership by example, under the best or worst of circumstances, is extremely powerful….Good leadership…is showing the way.”

Joseph M. Marshall III, from his book: Walking With Grandfather – The Wisdom of the Lakota Elders

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