Leadership Lessons from Dr. Seuss

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DrSeussQuote

When I was in college back in the day, I worked three different jobs, each of which provided me with the foundation of knowledge and experience I use every day.

Firstly I worked in an office, learning technologies and tools, efficiencies and protocols, as well as people and communications skills. Secondly, I took notes for a wide range of classes, and also summarized and typed notes for other note-takers. Lastly, I taught at a pre-school. There is no better leadership experience than doing that, and no better opportunity to teach others how to think and lead.

I integrated the learnings and teachings of Theodor Seuss Geisel (Mar 02, 1904 – Sep 24, 1991), commonly known as Dr. Seuss, in my day-to-day life, and shared it with my pre-schoolers back then, and with my colleague, friends, clients and partners today, for they are still relevant.

1. Be Fully YOU

  • “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” From Happy Birthday to You!
  • “It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.” from the The Lorax.
  • “You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go.” from Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
  • “All alone! Whether you like it or not, alone is something you’ll be quite a lot!” from Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
  • “Only you can control your future.”

2. Seize the Day

  • “You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.” from I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!
  • “Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting. So… get on your way.” from Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
  • “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” from Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
  • “If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it.”
  • “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”
  • “Today I shall behave, as if this is the day I will be remembered.”
  • “I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny.” from the Cat in the Hat

3. Exude Confidence

  • “Will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.” from Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

4. Choose to Always Learn and Grow

  • “It is better to know how to learn than to know.”
  • “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” from Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
  • “You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.”
  • “Oh, the things you can find if you don’t stay behind!”

5. Be Clear and Direct in Your Communications

  • “Be who you are and say what you mean. Because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
  • “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant is faithful, one hundred percent.” from Horton Hears a Who.

6. Think Outside the Box

  • “He should not be here, ” said the fish in the pot. ” he should not be here when your mother is not.” from the Cat in the Hat
  • “Think and wonder, wonder and think.”
  • “Why fit in, when you were born to stand out?”
  • “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
  • “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.”
  • “Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living; it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.”

6. You May Only Be ONE Person, But You Are an Important Person

  • “To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.”
  • “Don’t give up! I believe in you all. A person’s a person, no matter how small.” from Horton Hears A Who!

7. Treat Everyone as Someone Important

  • “I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.” from Yertle the Turtle and Gertrude McFuzz.
  • “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” from Horton Hears A Who!

6. Play the Game of Life

  • “So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act.” from Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
  • “We must become invisible, travel silently, for there are forces that would seek to destroy us.” from Horton Hears A Who!

7. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

  • “If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.”

8. Embrace a Positive Mindset

  • “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
  • “Fun is good.”
  • “You oughta be thankful a whole heaping lot for the people and places you’re lucky you’re not.”
  • “You are you. Now, isn’t that pleasant?”

9. Live a Life with No Regrets

  • “Nobody said it’d be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.”
  • “Life’s too short to wake up with regrets.”

10. Be Good to Everyone You Touch

  • Love the people who treat you right, forgive the ones who don’t.

Thank you Dr. Seuss, for touching me so deeply, through and through. May your words of wisdom and way of being continue to bring ripples of love and happiness, may this wish come true.

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