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Leadership Lessons from the American Frontier

By Harry Howe on September 23, 2013 in Leadership Lessons

It was a treat to hear Condoleezza Rice give the keynote address at M-Tech on Friday. Afterwards, I went across the street to the Eiteljorg Museum to see the Quest for the West Art Show. It had been a long day and I didn’t plan to stay long, but I was quickly captivated by several artists’ paintings. In particular, one by David Wright, titled A Moment Away, captured my attention. In the foreground, two frontiersmen stand at the base of a waterfall relaxing in the beauty of their surroundings. In the background above them, three Indian braves walk the path of the stream that leads to the waterfall. In a moment, they will confront one another.

Perhaps as a result of being attuned to leadership themes from Dr. Rice’s keynote address, what went through my mind as I studied the painting were the leadership lessons in the illustration. In particular, I was reminded of the importance of readiness, because the unexpected (loss of a key customer, a new competitor, economic turmoil, etc.) is only “A Moment Away”.


“The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.” ~ Sun Tzu (Chinese General and Author, b.500 BC)

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Harry HoweView all posts by Harry Howe