Seven Leadership Lessons

Yesterday, on LinkedIn, Mary Oliver posted 7 leadership lessons on how to forge your own path. Oliver is an amazing poet and has won many awards for her poetry. Note Oliver’s poetry below most of the 7 lessons.

1. Your life is what you make it.
“Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and way too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your wild and precious life?”

2. Stop punishing yourself.
“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a 100 miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of
Your body love what it loves.”

3. Learn from your pain.
“Someone I loved once game me
A box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand
That this, too, was a gift.”

4. Only you know what’s best for you.
“One day you finally knew what you had to do.
And began, though the voices around you
Kept shouting their bad advice.”

5. Keep it Simple.
“Poetry, to be understood, must be clear.
It mustn’t be fancy….I always
Feel that whatever isn’t necessary
Should not be in the poem.”

6. Worrying solves nothing, and it prevents nothing.

7. Be useful.
“May I be the tiniest nail in the house
Of the universe, tiny but useful.”

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