As I was a young man, my mother introduced me to a little book titled As A Man Thinketh, by James Allen. It has become a favorite in my life and is the book that had helped my mother through some difficult times. I was going through some difficult times of my own when she gave me her copy. At that time, I thought of the book only as inspirational read.I recently took another look at the book. As I pondered thoughts on leadership, I came to realize that much of the book could also be seen as instruction on effective leadership. While Chapter 3, Effect of Thought on Health and Body, and Chapter 7, Serenity, might not fit the bill, the other 5 chapters could easily be sections of any program on Leadership.
For this blog, I thought I would briefly introduce the other 5 chapters and how they are important factors of effective leadership. Over the coming weeks, I will delve into each chapter and its relevance to leadership.
Chapter 1 – Thought and Character: An effective leader isn’t born, but rather developed. Thoughts and actions develop our character and how we are perceived by those we lead. Effective leaders learn to control their thoughts and actions.
Chapter 2 – Effect of Thought on Circumstances: I would venture to say that most leaders are positive people. Conveying a positive attitude and outlook on the future will have some “trickle down” effect on the people they lead.
Chapter 4 – Thought and Purpose: We could all probably agree that a great leader is one who can effectively convey their vision to a purposeful outcome. Presidents and CEOs are supposed to be the visionaries. They are strategically minded individuals who direct the efforts of the organization.
Chapter 5 – The Thought-Factor in Achievement: Allen states, “A man can only rise, conquer, and achieve by lifting up his thoughts.” How true! A person dwelling in the negative is rarely, if ever, an effective leader. How could she/he be? Without looking at positive outcomes, one is focused on the negative and self-guided that direction.
Chapter 6- Visions and Ideals: “Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become.” “Your Vision is the promise of what you shall one day be. Your Ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.” These two quotes from the book are powerful. What more can I say? A leader is a visionary, who can effectively communicate that vision. A vision without effective leadership is simply a dream. Allen describes the dream as a “seedling of realities.” That dream or vision must be developed by changing one’s mind-set,
The book has influenced millions and I invite you to read the book and hope that it will inspire and help you become a more effective leader as well.