In a short blog post more than four years ago, I published “The 10 Commandments of Leadership“. They weren’t original. Since then, I’ve done much, learned much, and come to realize things are hardest for those who think they should be easy. They’re not.

If you want to assume a leadership position — even if that means leading by example and doing good, conscientious work, regardless of your position — three qualities are prerequisite: Self-faith. Determination. Thick skin. Beyond those, you’ll have to find a way to reconcile yourself to these 10 realities:

  1. Integrity and karma are inseparable.
  2. There’s nothing you can do to make small minds big.
  3. Those most likely to preach change are the least likely to change.
  4. Some people are more comfortable being right than being successful.
  5. People will reject your best work as offhandedly as they reject your worst.
  6. Some people will know they need help, ask for it, pay for it, then refuse to take it.
  7. Those least likely to accept your judgment are most likely to blame you for their failure.
  8. Regardless of how much thought you give something, people will assume you gave it none.
  9. The better you are at something, the easier it is for people to believe they can do it themselves.
  10. People never know what they want, but they always know they don’t want what you’ve done as soon as you do it.

The Last Word

I’ve excerpted Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay, “Self-Reliance”, in many of my posts. Since it remains a guiding light, I’ll do it again here:

To believe our own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men — that is genius … A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within … Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his … Great works of art have no more affecting lesson for us than this. They teach us to abide by our spontaneous impression with good-humored inflexibility — then most when the whole cry of voices is on the other side. Else, to-morrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time, and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another.


There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion … We but half express ourselves, and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents … but God will not have his work made manifest by cowards …


Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.