Leadership: Stand on the Shoulders of Giants

Hola Todos!

Today’s leadership nugget comes from one of the most famous scientists of the Enlightenment – Sir Isaac Newton.  Sir Isaac has a famous quote and it goes something like this: “If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulder of giants.”

I love this idea of “standing on the shoulders of giants.”  There is a common misconception among young leaders that you have to do everything all by yourself; you are the leader, you are responsible, and it’s all you.

I could not disagree more.  Leaders have to understand that they have a very talented team around them and it’s only the collective whole of the team that can result in a win, not any one individual effort.

Two of my favourite leadership quotes are by Warren Bennis, esteemed professor and accomplished author in the area of leadership.  The first quote goes like this: “Three words leaders have trouble dealing with: ‘I don’t know.’  I think good leadership will often start with questions whose answer is: “I don’t know, but we’re going to find out.” The second quote goes like this: “None of us is as smart as all of us.”

Both of these quotes have the flavor of “stand on the shoulders of giants.”  Sir Isaac’s quote implies to remember and use the nuggets of those who came before you and Professor Bennis’ quotes implies to use the people around you.

Something to think about today…

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o


Daniel M. Ladik, PhD

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University