It contains a speech, which was presented by me as the CC3 level speech at Toastmasters Speechcraft Program, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka. Basically, it is about leadership. It is about how to be a great leader. Most of supporting facts have been extracted from one of the greatest inspiration book by Robin Sharma, The Greatness Guide.
BEING AN ABRAHAM LINCOLN By Shakthi Fernando
BEING AN ABRAHAM LINCOLN 2014 1 | P a g e CC3 speech delivered by Shakthi Fernando at Toastmasters International Speechcraft Program, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka 2014 by Shakthi Fernando The writer of this takes no credits for the cited quotations.
BEING AN ABRAHAM LINCOLN 2014 2 | P a g e My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right. Great words come from great people. Great words come from great leaders. But how to be a leader. Its about being an Abraham Lincoln. Its about being a Nelson Mandela. A Martin Luther King. Its about being a leader. First of all, you have to be a rock star at everything you do. Be a rock star at work. Most people cant understand this concept. Probably, you all are working in somewhere or willing to work. Then, theres something, you have to remember. You have to remember, thats how you put bread on your table. Your whole family depends on them and all your necessities are fulfilled by them. Then you have the fullest responsibility to do your best to the organization. Being great at work is just not something that youre giving to the organization. Its something. Its a gift that youre giving to yourself. When youre being spectacularly great and passionately committed to your work, it means you promote yourself and earn some personal respect. Yeah, of course, good things happen to people, who do good things. When you bring your highest talents and deepest devotion to the work, you do, what you are really doing is setting yourself up for a richer, happier and more interesting life. How do you feel after an ultra-productive day? How do you feel, when you have given maximum out of you to your teammates. How do you feel when you have travelled an extra mile for your customer? It feels pretty good, ah, isnt it?
BEING AN ABRAHAM LINCOLN 2014 3 | P a g e Same as that, you dont need to hold the biggest title in the organization to do your job well. You dont need to be a manager. You dont need to be a CEO, or an executive. Just know your role and rock it. Once Martin Luther King said, If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michel Angelo painted, or as Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well. As a leader, you have to learn to say NO. A controversial point. From our childhood, we have been asked to say YES to things and we have been asked not to say NO to things. But here, its different. Sometimes you have to say NO. It says, when you say YES to an unimportant thing, you say NO to an important thing. Say NO to your friends, who want you to gossip with them. Say NO to your colleagues, who spread their negative sensations with you. Say NO to your neighbors, who laugh at your dreams and make you doubt about yourself. Know your priorities and goals. If you feel like theres something that may adversely affect to your life, which may adversely affect to your dreams and to your goals, you have to say NO fearlessly. No matter how hard it is, no matter how others will think about you or how others will judge you. You should have the courage; you should have the strength to say NO. We are not here to please everyone in the world. A day will come. One day you will have to decide, whether youre going to live your life according to the approval of others or youre going to live your life as you always wanted to do. Choice is yours.
BEING AN ABRAHAM LINCOLN 2014 4 | P a g e Leadership is a strange thing. Remember, Leadership is not a popularity contest. Leadership is not about being liked. Its about doing what is right. There are more leaders, who are afraid of critics. They act as others wish. They want to be popular and cherished among others. But real leaders, they make tough calls. They speak their truth. They make right decisions and worrying little about public opinion. Once Nelson Mandela said, We have to do the right thing. If people dont like it, we have to convince them what is right, because we are their leaders. Yes of course, you have to be kind as a leader. You have to be a good human being. But it doesnt mean that you dont need to be strong and courageous, when its required by circumstances. Remember, a great leader is a part saint and a part warrior. Normally, the best thing is the hardest thing to do. So do the right thing rather than doing the popular thing. There will be more critics for sure. Remember, Great people build their monuments from the stones that critics throw at them. Live your life as a leader. Do not follow the crowd. If you always follow the crowd, you will find the same destination as others do. If you dont, you will visit magnificent places, no one has ever been. I know, its tough. People will not like you. Theyll kick you. Theyll isolate you. They will do anything to put you down. They will even sell their souls to the devil, if they can. Remember, Foxes are always with the flock. But the lion, lion is dare enough to step forward alone. So be it. You only live once. But if u do it right, once is enough.