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Essay Example: Great Leaders and Their Values

3 pages
823 words
Middlebury College
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Simon Sinek appears to be a naturally inspiring leader. The three values that he seems to hold most closely are wisdom, determination and meaningful work. Wisdom is the capacity to judge rightly in matters relating to conduct and life. Sinek demonstrates wisdom through his ability to rightly judge regarding how organizations and individuals can be successful. According to Sinek, all about successful organizations and people is not knowing what they do but "knowing why they do what they do." Undoubtedly, when people know why they do what they do, they become unique and successful, eventually inspiring others. Also, Sinek appears to closely ascribe to the value of determination. In his examples, Sinek contrasts Wright brothers with Samuel Pierpont Langley. Whereas Wright brothers were determined to change the course of the world by flying their machine, Langley wanted to be just rich and famous. In this story, it comes out that Sinek holds to value of determination to make a difference because he seems to passionately describe Wright brothers who were up to change the world, unlike Langley who was simply after riches. Moreover, Sinek closely associates with the value of meaningful work. Almost throughout the speech, Sinek emphasizes that "people don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it." What Sinek wanted to insist is that people should do a meaningful work that attracts people. Nonetheless, Sinek seems to hold values like fame less important. In his description, he prefers determined people like Wright brothers who stick to a given cause to change the world rather than the likes of Langley who seek fame and richness.

Steve Jobs is another great man whose stories are inspiring. Jobs seem to hold most closely to the values of humor, curiosity, and love. As Jobs opens his speech, there is humor which is further observed throughout. "I have never graduated from collegethis is the closest I've ever gotten to college graduation." This is humorous. "And then I got fired How can you. How can you get fired from a company you started?" this is also a sense of humor. Another value that Jobs seems to hold most closely is curiosity. In fact was it not for curiosity, Jobs would not be the person he is today. In his story about "connecting the dots" Jobs reveals how he followed curiosity to end up in a calligraphy class. Jobs was curious because he saw the beautiful hand calligraphed posters and labels on drawers and began to explore how it was done ending up taking a calligraphy course. He further reveals that because of his curiosity that led him to a calligraphy class, he acquired skills which he later applied in making the Mac multiple typefaces. Jobs also demonstrated a high affiliation with the value of love. "And the only way to do great work is to love what you do," he says. "You've got to find what you love," Jobs adds. This is a clear indication that Jobs believes in love for what one is doing as it leads to perfection. Nevertheless, there are some values such as security that appear less important to Jobs. If Jobs were a person who valued security, he would not risk dropping out of school to try out new things that he was not sure if they would even work out. He would have worked hard in college to get a job with income security.

The most successful people were once failures. Oprah Winfrey is a good example. At age 17, Winfrey landed on an on-air radio job with a local black station. She did excellent that she was recruited to become Nashville's first and the youngest black female television news anchor at WLAC-TV. Her performance was outstanding such that in 1976, WJZ-TV admired and recruited her as a co-anchor for the 6 pm news in Baltimore. Little did she know she was headed for a career crash. WJZ told her that she was stiff and dull on the air and that she mispronounced some words regularly. She was devastated but later took up a show that became very popular and revived her career. Central to Winfrey's values were boldness, optimism, and determination. She was the first black woman to be a news anchor, a career formerly dominated by white men. Nonetheless, she remained bold, believed in herself and hoped to make it in the career. Her boldness saw her through the failure and to take up a failing show with an optimistic mind that it would revive. Surely, the show revived and became a famous show in entire America. She has been dreaming big and acting to achieve those dreams. That is how she left her famous show to be a successful entrepreneur. Her determination was a core value that kept her moving on even when she had failed in her career. She was up for something such that failure was part of the motivation to her life journey of becoming great.

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