As I moved closer to the statue of Benjamin Franklin, I felt a sense of connection with the statue and the person. I was on the Boston Freedom Trail yesterday and felt a feeling of being emotionally inspired by the statue more than the words of the great man. Was it really true? Can one find a statue more inspiring than the words of the man himself written in text!
I think two things happened here in my mind and the Ben Franklin autobiography provides answers to these questions.
Seest thou a Man diligent on his Calling, he shall stand before Kings, he shall not stand before mean Men.
As a reflection of the entire year: we look up to leaders for vision, inspiration, and direction. We believe they will have all the answers. We all want to be them if not expressively but secretly. I want to be like Benjamin Franklin too. But having taken birth in this age, I want everything fast and now. Is it possible? It may be, but most of the time it’ll just be a fluke. I have always believed that each day of my life has been a new learning experience. Today when I connect this with the Autobiography of Ben Franklin, I realize there is no substitute for hard work, and each of the successes in my life has been due to my hard work.
People will keep saying, ‘Work smart,’ etc. etc. but one must believe in oneself, and sweat to achieve their goals. There are no shortcuts. The wall painting on the wall beside the library read, “Every Notable Achievement Has a Small Beginning.” I still remember this because I had painted it on the wall after winning the overall best competition for painting on the 25th anniversary of the school, 18 years ago. Leadership is a conscious choice. One must be willing to work hard and give up aspects of their lives that do not fit in or don’t add value.
Who, in his circumstance, expressly proves That no man is lord of anything, Though in and of him there be much consisting, Till he communicate his parts to others;
Leadership is as much about communicating with others as about being best at what you do. One can’t just be exceedingly skilled with words but not competent at their work. Similarly one cannot become a leader in general if they cannot communicate with others their sincere feelings and outcomes. I believe Ben Franklin’s Autobiography does this part well. It helps not only build about but also maintain his reputation for ages to come, perhaps for infinity. It appears to be an excellent strategy.
Things may be quite different in the age of social media but dear future leader in me, be aware that as much as I can claim leadership, I also need to be able to consistently maintain it.