Written By: Danny
By Dan Maier
During this holiday season, I wanted to share an inspiring story that speaks to the heart of leadership.
At the age of 19, a friend of mine was a sophomore at Harvard and made a long-forgotten speech to his classmates. As life went on, he soon forgot about that day until he heard about a poem attributed to Mother Theresa called “Anyway” – the poem was tacked to the wall behind her in her office in India. The words were the very same words he had spoken decades before. Not the Ten Commandments, but the Paradoxical Commandments of Leadership… written by Kent Keith in 1968.
They start: “People are illogical, unreasonable and self-centered. Love them anyway.”
Kent Keith has since written a book about that speech and the commandments he penned during the turbulent times of the late-1960s called Anyway.
With acknowledgement to my friend Kent, here are those paradoxical commandments of leadership:
The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down
by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.
© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001
Have a great holiday season and remember…
Fundraising can be a challenge
and it may be difficult to achieve your goal.
PS: the book could make a great gift for your staff or volunteers!