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High Five Leadership Guide
On April 5, 2009, the students in the Freshman Leadership Program were the beneficiaries of a talk given by an esteemed H-SC alum, David N. Martin '52, Martin Branding's Founder and Senior consultant.
Included in Mr. Martin's presentation on leadership were the following points, which he called "The High Five Leadership Guide." With Mr. Martin's kind permission, this guide is reproduced below.
The High Five Leadership Guide
Start with your wrist and look at your watch. Always be on time. Be there waiting while the others rush in to find you there--composed, ready, and prepared. You can't lead when you're the last one in the room.
Your thumb is up, always positive, your glass half full - in command of your reality. No second guesses allowed. I've never seen a leader who wasn't cool under fire, confident of success, and always sending out those positive vibes that energize.
Your forefinger does double duty. Your fore-fingerprint is unique and so are you. What is your core interest, your inherent talent? It sets you apart. Make it your claim to fame. Leaders are known for something special and that knowledge spawns respect.
The index finger points the way. Every task demands a plan - a plan is a blueprint that makes leading easier. Invite input. Set the goal; and reach for the stars. Others are more apt to follow when they know they're going up, not down.
The prod finger - delegate, fix responsibility, give others the slack that begets a sense of ownership in the task at hand. But don't delegate the responsibility for the end result. Require accountability and, when necessary, use this finger.
The ring finger is all about caring. You can't fake it, you either care about the others you lead or you don't. If you see yourself as your first and last priority, sooner or later that big ego is a heavy burden that brings you down.
The little finger is about the niceties of life: good manners, smart grooming, and appropriate dress. A leader looks and acts like one. Be courteous to all, interested in ideas and input from others. Brain cells multiply when light enters an open mind.
People sometimes wonder, "Are some people born leaders-or can one be made?" Human personality, the Jaycees say, is the greatest gift of mankind. But personalities differ. Some deploy the above characteristics and attitudes naturally - others need to learn and consciously apply them. The High Five guide will help you remember the rules of the leadership game.
- David N. Martin
April 5, 2009 used by permission