“Be the leader you wish you had.”

As I look back over my career, it's possible I've gotten more leadership source material for writing, speaking, and mentoring from ineffective leaders above me than great ones.

If true, here's the takeaway: Don't underestimate the opportunity to become a better leader by observing those you don't aspire to become, especially if you can't change your circumstances right away. As one of my mentors once said, we are each other's clinical material and we would do well to remember this.

"Be the leader you wish you had" sounds trite. But it's a powerful maxim for putting your hard-earned experience to use.

Midjourney prompt: “kid drawn with origami shapes, confused and scratching her head, vibrant colors”