“Who am I kiddin’? I ain’t even in the guy’s league…It don’t matter, ’cause I was nobody before…I was nobody. That don’t matter either, ya know…It really don’t matter if I lose this fight. It really don’t matter if this guy opens my head, either. ‘Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody’s ever gone the distance with Creed. And if I can go that distance, ya see, and that bell rings, ya know, and I’m still standin’, I’m gonna know for the first time in my life, ya see, that I weren’t just another bum from the neighborhood.”
Rocky is without a question one of the greatest movie series of all time. I mean, what is there not to love about a small-town underdog competing with big league boxers, overcoming great odds, and marrying the woman of his dreams? We all can quote the movie, we love to run upstairs and throw our hands up and start shadow boxing like the Italian Stallion, and all of us guys can quote the scenes where Rocky is trying to woo Adrianne with his savvy Italian accent and goofy little sayings.
The left-hander seemed to have it all, but what made him so great was the fact he had guts! When you think of the Anatomy of a Leader, you cannot bypass the fact that every great leader has guts.
It is almost like this meme I seen the other day, “I was cut from a different cloth, and they don’t make my fabric anymore.” Have you ever met people like Rocky that were cut from a different cloth? Every generation has them, every age group has their rising star, every industry has their genius, every army has their general, and every family has their patriarch or matriarch. These stars outshines the rest of the pack, they stand head above shoulders to their peers. They saw differently, spoke differently, acted differently, but most of all they had the guts to lead their generation. Let me give you a few points that will hopefully inspire you to be a successful leader.
1.) Be Willing to Start at the Bottom
Rocky Balboa is a fictional character, but gives a true representation of all the great leaders that we have come to know and love. He was just another kid, scrapping his way around town and trying to make his mark on life. It takes guts to step into the ring each day and battle your way to the top!
Starting at the bottom is awesome! I see three things that gives me optimism with starting from the bottom:
- There is room for advancement
- There is so much knowledge to gain
- It teaches you work ethic and perspective
My mom worked at McDonald’s, and she decided she wanted to make more money, so she got into the management program at McDonald’s. And that’s how you move up the chain. It’s not by demanding that minimum wage is raised; it’s by actually acquiring the skills. That’s the way that people get ahead in life. -Raul Labrador
It takes guts to start at the bottom and work your tail off to rise to the top! I do not know where I saw this from, but our generation complains about $8 an hour when our grandparents seen it as opportunity in their day. I love that!
Rocky rose to the top! He worked to the top! He bled to the top! And when you rise to the top this way, you feel humbled, yet you feel like you belong there.
2.) Be Willing to Rise to the Top
My mind goes back thirteen years ago, as a young man starting in the preventive maintenance industry vacuuming cars and cleaning their windows. I never thought of being anything other than that. A few short years after starting with the company, I became the assistant manager and then a year or two later I rose to the top management position.
Drawing from my own experience I can give you a few things that assisted me in rising to the top.
- I worked my butt off– As a courtesy technician I worked my tail off. We were doing to 35 to 45 cars a day and I was working 54 to 58 hrs a week. Every position I took, I strove to be the best. Do not wait for luck to come your way, prove yourself and create your own luck.
- I wanted to learn– I wasn’t satisfied with just doing courtesy. I wanted to know every position in the building and be the best at every position. When I became management, I made a ton of mistakes but I bought every book, watched every video to help me maximize my effectiveness. Now, later in my life I decided to go to school for business management to rise to the next level.
- I was never satisfied– I am never satisfied where my team is. I want to always drive for records. I always want to maximize my team’s efficiency. I want to take our team to whole new heights.
It takes guts to rise to the top. The ascent to the top is full of obstacles and setbacks, and it means having guts of steel to make it to the highest summit.
3.) Take Others With You
Never forget that when you climb the summit all by yourself you are only risking your own life. That is the safest way to go. When you get to the top by yourself, you alone get all the glory. That is the selfish way to go.
It is when you take others with you and you invest in people that you take the greatest risks. It takes guts to invest in others.
John C. Maxwell said it best, “Teamwork makes the dream work!”
The leader trains, they communicate, they cast a vision, and they bear the load so that their team shines in the end, so when it is all said in done the leader can say, “We did it together!”
Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine.
This is no doubt my most important blog yet. Do you have the guts it takes to be a true leader? To train harder, work harder, risk more, shine less, and be the leader that you need to be to make a difference. Never be satisfied and get the guts it takes to make it!