Leadership: A Man Got To Know His Limitations


I think it was 'Dirty' Harry Callahan who uttered that line in the 1973 movie Magum Force, 'A man got to know his limitations.' The line was liked so much, that it morph and was used in other Eastwood movies.

When in a leadership role, a person is always pushing against the envelope of their very being, especially if they want to grow and particularly if they wish to lead a larger group or handle more responsibilities.

They are stretching and are always trying to break out of their own mediocre environment and move into a larger pond. Leaders are expected to step out on their own, or with their team to blaze new horizons.

No one gets to the mountain top without stumbling once or twice, or three times. A leader expects problems and when they come a real leader would make adjustments and keep moving towards the goal.

Obviously, not all leaders make it to the top. Sometimes, forces beyond the leaders control sets up road blocks.. The good leader would have anticipated most early stumbling blocks and would not be deterred. Leaders who fail early in the battle have usually completely misread the opposition, or grossly underestimated the size of the fight. Hence, it is not surprising to notice someone taking a wrong turn as they attempt to navigate uncharted territories.

If the opposition is extremely strong early on, a smart leader will make a reevaluation. The leader must not only understand the size of the opposition, but more important than that, he or she must understand their own limitations. If gross miscalculations have been made, the leader must retreat. It is the smart thing to do. Other wise, the leader could lose the team as well as the battle. No one wins every battle. The goal is to win the war. Sometimes you have to retreat in order to move forward.


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