Leadership In a Word: Resolve

Credit: Google Images

Wise to resolve, and patient to perform. – Homer

Word study

1 obsolete : dissolve, melt

4a : to deal with successfully : clear up

  • resolve doubts
  • resolve a dispute

b : to find an answer to

c : to make clear or understandable

d : to find a mathematical solution of

e : to split up into two or more components especially in assigned directions

  • resolve a vector

5: to reach a firm decision about

  • resolve to get more sleep
  • resolve disputed points in a text

Source: Merriam-Webster

A word about resolve

As in many words that come to mind when one thinks of leadership, resolve is one that continuously makes the list. It’s in our resolve that we made as leaders.

I was reminded of a story I heard about President Abraham Lincoln. The final draft of the Emancipation Proclamation was taken to Lincoln at noon on January 1, 1863. Twice the president picked up his pen to sign it, and twice he laid it down. Turning to Secretary of State William Seward, he said, “I have been shaking hands since 9:00 this morning, and my right arm is almost paralyzed. If my name ever goes into history, it will be for this act, and my whole soul is in it. If my hand trembles when I sign the proclamation, all who examine the document hereafter will say, ‘He hesitated.'”

The president then took up the pen again and slowly but firmly wrote, “Abraham Lincoln.” That historic act endeared Lincoln to the world as the Great Emancipator.

While the things you do may not rise to the level of the Emancipation Proclamation,  resolve, nonetheless, is crucial to your success as a leader. Many things will compete for your time and attention. Distraction will come your way. Tough and unpopular decisions will be yours to make. Your resolve in these times is what will see you through. So here are a few points of clarity to help you define your resolve with yourself and with the people you lead.

Resolve to listen to your people

What makes you a leader of significance is found not so much in your ability to talk but in how well you listen. Listening is a lost art in communication. Resolve to listen more.

Resolve to believe the best in your people

The people you lead not only need your ear but they also need your heart. When you resolve to believe the best in your people and see them as “10’s” they will rise to the challenge.

Resolve to challenge your people

Bringing out the best in your people means raising the bar for your people. Let them know that their goals, dreams, and aspirations and yours are one in the same. Resolve to lift your team to new levels.

Resolve to never stop growing

Simply put, the growth of the leader determines the growth of the people. As a leader, you set the example. You can’t lead people to new levels of growth and development if are not growing yourself.

Resolve to live in your ‘why’

“The two most important days in your life,” said Mark Twain, “are the day you were born and the day you find out why”. Resolve to know your ‘why’ and live it. This is your purpose, this is your destiny, and this must be your resolve as a leader.

Resolve quotes

“Resolve never to quit, never to give up, no matter what the situation”. – Jack Nicklaus

“Resolve to learn something new everyday. Because every 24 hours, you have the opportunity to have the best day of your company’s life”. – Harvey Mackay

“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” – Helen Keller

“Determination gives you the resolve to keep going in spite of roadblocks that lay before you”. – Denis Waitley

A final word

A leader’s resolve, I believe, is one of the noblest of characteristics he or she possesses. With it, you can lead with integrity and authority. In many areas of your leadership, you will be required to summons resolve. Courageously embrace it.


©2018 Doug Dickerson


About dougdickerson

I am Certified Leadership Trainer, author, columnist, and speaker. Husband to Alicia, father to Katelyn and Kara, and "Pop" to terrific grandsons Tyson and Gideon. I am an avid photographer, love the outdoors, and like to travel. I'm passionate about sharing my leadership insights and helping people reach their full potential.
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