I ended up browsing a biography of JFK in the library the other day.
I’ve always been curious about his speeches, and how they riveted the world.
Was it Kennedy or his advisors and speech writers that came up with “Ask not what your country can do for you, can do for your country, ask what you can do for your country.”
As with many great moments for great leaders, it was a collaboration. Kennedy had sought ideas and opinions from many about what he should say when he gave his inaugural speech on January 20, 1961. And in the end made his own call about what to say.
The key thing was that it was not all about him, it was about something greater, a coming together of ideas at a time when he was required to rise above himself, through the collaboration and collective support of others.
It struck me again how true Shakespeare was when he said ‘there is nothing new under the sun.’
New Zealand Maori have a sacred value called Manaaki. Manaaki is all about being of service, putting the needs of others ahead of one’s self, being of service.
It is when we focus on others and what we can provide for them, that we are at our most powerful. It is when our communication is most clear, most succinct, and connects.
We often ‘overthink’ how to stand out in what we say and do and be and can get concerned about whether our ideas, our thoughts our actions are our own, or simply following others.
That is when we achieve greatness in what ever realm we inhabit.