The Kentucky Derby Championship series is underway and the hopes of many owners, trainers and jockeys are pointed toward Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May. Living over half of my life between Lexington and Louisville I could not escape all the talk and action that leads to the Derby. Though I am not a gambler, I do enjoy the human interest stories and the drama that unfolds before the horses answer the call to post. I know little about horse racing. But what I do know is that in each race there is only one horse that wins. The horse that finishes second is called the “place” horse and the horse that finishes third is called the “show” horse. Even though the “place” and “show” horses pay a return on a wager, when it comes to a race like the Kentucky Derby or one of the other Triple Crown races, only the winner is remembered. So, as a leader, do you want to win, place or show?
Noble character is an important ingredient in the life of a leader who wins. Winning leaders embrace and practice honorable attitudes and actions toward others. They value others as highly as they value themselves. They express a heart of generosity. They live with integrity. Jealousy, dishonesty and selfishness are not part of the winning leader’s package. Remember, winning leadership requires good character. To a certain degree, all leaders are running a race. The leader who possesses strong character certainly puts himself or herself in a better position to be the one who wins. After all, seldom is a horse entered into a race with the hope of simply being the “place” or “show” horse. Each horse entered into a race is done so with the hope of winning! You are a winner. Run your race with good character.