This is one of the greatest leadership quotes of all time. It’s so important because it gets at the very core of which type of leader a person really is.
We count on leaders to take care of their teams and put themselves last. As leaders it’s our job to remove obstacles, problem solve, and above all…take action.
If leaders allow their self interests or even self preservation (e.g., not getting fired) to rise above their responsibilities, then they need to be an individual contributor, and NOT a leader.
There are a lot of words people would use to describe a good leader such as; brave, strong, selfless, smart, creative, etc. Those are all accurate descriptions and there are plenty more. Leaders come in all different shapes and sizes with different strengths and weaknesses. But at the end of the day, real leaders need to take action. Being complacent, existing in the status quo when they know there are problems that need to be solved, following what everyone else does (or has done in the past), and choosing inaction as their default decision-making mechanism makes them a sheep, not a lion.
By the way, there is NOTHING wrong with being a sheep…they just shouldn’t be in a leadership role!