PRINCIPLE 9

Be a Dependable Authority

If you can keep your head when all about youAre losing theirs and blaming it on you,If you can trust yourself when all men doubt youBut make allowance for their doubting too,If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,Or being hated, don’t give way to hatingAnd yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise.

–RUDYARD KIPLING, “If” (1895)

Kipling’s poem contains three more stanzas, 15 “ifs” in all. He ends by saying that if you can do all these things “you’ll be a man, my son.” We like his poem because Kipling vividly describes to his child exactly the challenges every meeting leader faces. Anytime you assume authority, people test your dependability. The more emotional ...

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