Raymond L. Wheeler

Musings about leadership

The Advice We Remember

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I am always intrigued by what my clients and students remember. People hear what they need to hear and it sticks with them throughout life.  So, I asked a group of leaders what the most memorable thing they had ever heard from a mentor. This is what they said.

“You are so you … not ‘typical’, not ‘standard’ but very authentic. That is why you got the job, stay that way and give the company but most of all the team that breeze of fresh air.” So often leaders change just to “fit in”, forgetting themselves and who they really are …                                             Wendy Hagenbeek-Jacobs, Teamleader bij Scania Parts Center Opglabbeek

“The visionary leader must also be a missionary, extremely practical, intensively dynamic and capable of translating dreams into reality. This dynamism and strength of a true leader flows from an inspired and spontaneous motivation to help others.” Govind Bharadia, Facilitation, Coaching & Training – Free lance

“When you’re up to your ass in alligators and it looks like you’re in for a beating, go crazy! Nobody knows how to deal with a crazy cop and that might just give you the time you need.” Hey, Mr. Wheeler requested the most memorable or meaningful, not insightful. Believe it or not, it actually worked for me once when I was being attacked by a group of individuals, trying to pull me out of my police vehicle. I went crazy and they backed up, just enough for me to escape. Who would have thought!”
Michael McTaggart, Policing, Investigations, Security, Training, Management

“Mike, chose your battles wisely. You can lose a battle and still win the war. Also, you can win the battle and lose the war.”  Mike Ausloos, Food Waste Recycling|Renewable Fuel|Biogas Digester

“Choose your own way, or someone else will do it for you.” Can Kaplan, Geliştirme Müdürü – Trakya Cam

“There is such a thing as a great team and a bad leader, but not a great leader and bad team.”
Andy Lloyd, Managing Director at process benchmarking ltd

“Success will never lower its standard to accommodate us. We have to raise our standard to achieve it. For every bird God provides food but not in its nest.” Gagan Mittal, Team Manager- ANZ Bank

“You have to ask for the order.” As a guy in sales, he knew that people needed to be asked to join in (or buy). So many times “nobody helps in church” because “nobody asked them to.”  David Fletcher, Executive Pastor at First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton

“Don’t tell me you can’t do something, tell me what you need to get it done.” John Dix, Director of Organizational Development at Chartwells Schools

“Make your enemies become your friends.” Aysu Ugus, CIPM, B.Sc., Commercial Project Manager

“Whether you are running business or running family, never lose economic control.”                                    ramesh Rameshrahi, Director

 “Your reputation is just as important as your talent.” Karen LaGreca, Design and Color Specialist Home Furnishings Market

 “Own your greatness.” Shereen van Schoor, Course Coordinator at The Red & Yellow School

 “When I hear you preach, I want to hear . . . Rich Frazer. It took me 5 years to figure that one out.”
Richard Frazer, President at Spiritual Overseers Service International

“He told me a story about a fireplug: you know, a fireplug is one of those iron things in the ground where water pours forth for firefighting. The story was about a man who went by it every day and kicked it, everyday he grumbled about it, and it of course never moved. The moral: Some things are fireplugs. You can complain about them every day but they won’t change. Know when it’s a fireplug–don’t waste your energy and just go around it!!” Susan Foster, Master Certified Coach/Owner at Susan Foster Coaching

“The worst telling-off people get are the ones they give themselves.” “You need to have the smarts to learn from others mistakes, not wait until you make them yourself.”  Richard Morris, Senior Consultant at MartinJenkins

“When you have to do something you must make yours better”.  Carlos de Souza Teixeira, Chemistry Teacher at Secretaria da Educação

“You are allowed to make mistakes” Nikki Compton, Program Director at Spartanburg Mental Health

It’s all about the people!” Gary Daniels, Plant Supervisor at Bertolini Inc

“Anyone not rowing in the same direction is slowing the whole boat down.” Timothy Kerby, Senior Manager Network Strategy, WCS

With a wave of her arm she said “Just let it go. Do not beat yourself up if something does not go exactly as you planned. Let it go and move forward.”  Dr. William K. Mennen, Org Growth | Future Thinking at Idea Generation

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive!”  “There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.” (Howard Thurman with whom I and others spent a precious year at Boston U 1953-54.)  Robert Crosby, Founder of Crosby & Associates and Leadership Institute Seattle

“Damn it Mickey. Slow down and enunciate I don’t understand a word your saying.”  “Mickey if you want to get ahead, learn the game and play the rules. Only once you learn the game better; can you influence other people. Kicking and pounding on the door yelling that YOU SHOULD PLAY gets you no-where and everyone just thinks you are an asshole.” (From Jim Cardus, my father.)                                Michael Cardus, Org Development and Managerial-Leadership Expert

“What is most powerful and enduring (yet often invisible) is process. It shapes, alters, and even creates everything that exists or is done in this world.” Arthur Lerner, Principal at Arthur Lerner Associates

“Salary should not be the primary driver of your career. It is simply one piece to the overall puzzle.”
Terrence Williamson MBA, CQM/OE, CSQE, Scrum Master at GIS

“Success is about having a vision and seeing yourself there before you’re actually there. It also requires faith, faith to get you there.” Shea Porta, Program Coordinator at Naples Botanical Garden, Soil Scientist

I appreciate the accumulated wisdom represented in these pithy anchors of sanity. What do you remember? Don’t keep these to yourself tell the rest of us.  You don’t know when something you say may alter the course of someone’s life and career for the better.

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Author: Ray Wheeler, DMin

Ray Wheeler - executive coach, confidant, mentor, leader, and friend. Ray is the author of, Change the Paradigm: How to Lead Like Jesus in Today's world. He is also an adjunct lecturer at LIFE Pacific College, Bethesda University California and Azusa Pacific University in cross-cultural leadership, leadership development, leadership ethics, administration, church growth, and mission in today's world. Certified leadership coach, certified Birkman Consultant, and certified in the iOpener Assessment (happiness at work).

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