Last week I heard myself give a textbook answer to the question, “What’s the difference between leaders and managers?” I won’t bore you by sharing what I responded because even if you don’t read as many articles and books on leadership as I do, you’d intuitively sense that there must be more to truly great leaders.
After my acceptable answer popped toad-like from my lips, I almost immediately started reflecting upon what my authentic, deeper answer is, the answer that I didn’t have the courage or quick-thinking capacity to state at the time:
Truly great leaders give us permission to believe—and the constant support to act upon the belief—that the impossible is possible, that magic can happen.”
I suspect that we’ve all experienced stage magician-type leaders, leaders skilled at misdirection and charismatic manipulation. Those leaders may give us the temporary high that mystery brings. But from my study of truly great leaders, while all are flawed human beings, they seem to tap into a piece of us that believes in magic.
As Roald Dahl, author of James and the Giant Peach wrote, “A little magic can take you a long way.” How about bringing some magic into your leadership?
Magic quotes to help you on your truly great leader path:
True magic is the art and science of changing states of mind at will. ―Douglas Monroe, The 21 Lessons of Merlyn
The world, after all our science and sciences, is still a miracle; wonderful, inscrutable, magical and more to whosoever will think of it. ―Thomas Carlyle
The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it. ―J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Magic is not a practice. It is a living, breathing web of energy that, with our permission, can encase our every action. ―Dorothy Morrison, Everyday Magic
I don’t want realism. I want magic! ―Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire
We can choose to function at a lower level of awareness and simply exist, caring for our possessions, eating, drinking, sleeping and managing in the world as pawns of the elements, or we can soar to new and higher levels of awareness allowing ourselves to transcend our environment and literally create a world of our own — a world of real magic. —Wayne Dyer, Real Magic
Real magic is not about gaining power over others: it is about gaining power over yourself. —Rosemary Guiley, The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy
Magic exists. Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars? Anyone who has loved has been touched by magic. It is such a simple and such an extraordinary part of the lives we live. —Nora Roberts, Charmed
Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity. ―W. Clement Stone
The great leaders are like the best conductors, they reach beyond the notes to reach the magic in the players. ―Blaine Lee
The magic doesn’t come from within the director’s mind, it comes from within the hearts of the actors. ―James Cameron
Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it. ―Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon-instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today. ―Dale Carnegie
Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air. ―John Quincy Adams
The ability to have somebody read something and see it, or for somebody to paint an entire landscape of visual imagery with just sheets of words – that’s magical. —Mos Def
Love and hate have magical transforming power. They are the great soul changers. We grow through their exercise into the likeness of what we contemplate.—George William Russell
The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” ―W.B. Yeats.
The magic in this world seems to work in whispers and small kindnesses. ―Charles de Lint
Finally, as that mistress of magic J.K. Rowling said,
It is important to remember that we all have magic inside of us.”
Tap into magic, leaders, because even a little will take you a long way.