Lessons in Leadership from Dr. Seuss

by Kyle Kirschbaum


Lessons in Leadership from Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss – born Theodore Seuss Geisel in 1904 – published 46 children’s books with celebrated characters and rhymes – before his death in 1991. His birthday honored every March 2nd as being the National Read Across America Day, a reading promotion created and sponsored by the National Education Association.

Before notoriety as children’s book author launched him to global fame, Dr. Seuss worked through the Great Depression as an illustrator for GE, NBC, Standard Oil, and Narragansett Brewing Company – to name a few – by drawing advertising.

There are profitable lessons in leadership to be learned from Dr. Seuss because his penned works are replete with knowledge that is applicable to today’s business practices.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

The responsibility to lead lies with every one of us and your leadership skills can only be provided by you. You must offer your leadership skills today in order for your business to improve tomorrow.

You can’t wait around for things to happen to you; you have to go out and make your business dreams come true.

Don’t find yourself waiting for something better to come along – take charge and keep moving forward. Opportunities and great offers will not present themselves to you and you must take chances in order to be regarded as a great leader.

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.

Steadfastly striving to find a better way to do business more efficiently and effectively is what leadership is all about. Don’t settle for the status quo simply because those around you are satisfied with your work. Predict when those around you will buck your changes and take not of whether they mind or matter in your business.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

Build more trust within your business by standing up and admitting when a project or initiative is failing or not producing as planned. You will build respect and trust among your followers if you don’t ignore signs of failure when something you’ve implemented is not working. Put your intelligence over your fear and ego.

With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

When a leader’s actions do not coincide with his/her words, the tread down a not-so-good-street begins. Having good intentions and ideas will get you to a no good place sooner than later when you don’t back up your plan with effective action.

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

Those who are continually educating themselves are the most effective leaders. With today’s technology, you have the ability to absorb abundant information provided by way of the Internet. Make it a part of your day to become the Chief Learner of your organization and be the example of the importance of continuing education for your team.

Why fit in when you were born to stand out?

In order to move your company forward in today’s global marketplace, you be brave and take chances. Don’t fit the mold. Stand out and be a leader who makes the right moves – not just doing things as they are normally done. Always remember: Dr. Seuss was a misfit in his day’s normal messaging process.

Read: “How Entrepreneurs Set Themselves Apart”

“Money is nice; you’ve got bills to pay, but greed often leads to moral decay.” – from Gertrude McFuzz

Corruption and greed destroyed Enron and a lot of people inside trading on Wall Street. Like Gertrude McFuzz, they greedily ate all the berries to make their tail feathers grow beyond their leadership capabilities. And, like Gertrude, they got plucked down to a sole feather.

“Working your way up sure takes some gall, but the more people you walk on, the further you’ll fall.” – from Yertle the Turtle

Don’t be a Yertle and use the backs of your following turtles to reach your ambitions. You, alone, must build yourself up as a leader. Yertle’s falling off the top of his stack of turtles is a relationship building lesson for leaders of business. Don’t walk over people under you if you want to enjoy the benefits of your success in the future.

“Maybe you didn’t do things the way you should, but admitting you’re wrong will make you look good.” – from Bartholomew and the Oobleck

“I’m sorry,” you say. It’s best for all leaders to admit when they are wrong and apologize to those who have been adversely affected by a bad decision. As a powerful person, holding yourself accountable for an errant decision, and implementing an effective solution, will show those under your leadership that you are willing to stand up and face the music. Doing otherwise will just prolong the problem and lead your organization to potential destruction.

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