Dearest Darling Friends,
When we’re dealing with our worst fears, it’s tough. In the middle of the night, we wake up with a shudder and think, ‘How are things going to work out?’ It’s called the 2 a.m. cold sweats.
Every leader knows these moments. At least once in a life time, a leader finds themselves in the centre of a great crisis. Extraordinary people persist as they keep searching for ways and means to win. Ordinary people buckle in and give up before they ‘actually fail’.
▪ Abraham Lincoln was on the verge of seeing the Union fall apart. Yet he persevered in his fight against slavery. He did so despite the weight of many Civil War losses on his shoulders and personal tragedies, including the death of his son.
▪ Ernest Shackleton was stranded on the ice with his men in the Antarctic. The Shackleton expedition, from 1914 to 1916, is a compelling story of leadership when disaster strikes again and again.
▪ Dietrich Bonhoeffer was secretly working to bring down Hitler while attempting to evade his own arrest by the Nazis.
▪ Rachel Carson was racing to finish a book about the dangers of pesticides before cancer silenced her.
▪ Mahatma Gandhi was jailed eleven times. Once he was arrested thrice within four days.
▪ Ratan Tata had to shift his entire Nano plant from West Bengal to Gujarat.
▪ Nelson Mandela served 27 years in prison.
Each person faced long odds of success, each was filled with dread, and uncertainty. Yet, they found their inner strength to carry on.
Real leaders, wrote by the novelist David Foster Wallace, are people who “help us overcome the limitations of our own individual laziness and selfishness and weakness and fear and get us to do better, harder things than we can get ourselves to do on our own.”
Peer into the past and find inspiration from five people who managed to accept their disasters, steady themselves, and overcome great obstacles to make their mark. It’s a call to action for future leaders: “Read these stories and get to work. The world has never needed you and other real leaders more than it does now.”
With love, prayers and exceptional wishes,
Imagine, when we wake up, we are given only what we had thanked for.