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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

“Never Take More Than You Give”

One of my favorite songs is “Circle of Life”  (by Tim Rice & Elton John). It’s on the “Lion King” sound track. You can view and listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8ZnCT14nRc

My favorite line in the song is this: “You should never take more than you give.”

Life is fullest when we commit to serving others, in ways both small and large.  That concept is nicely captured by the lyrics of Rice and John.  The world is a better place when we give more than we take.

Leadership is about service to others, purely and simply and most righteously. It is the act of giving.  Many who charade as leaders with motives more aligned to achieving notoriety, gaining wealth, acquiring fame, and wielding power are what I consider to be counterfeit leaders.  Selfishness and egotism are the drivers underneath their actions.

Leaders of integrity, however, “give more than they take” every day, in the interest of two goals:
1)  Make the lives of others better.
2)  Make the world a better place.

As always, we get to choose (how we will live, how we will lead, who we will follow).


  1. If we continue on the path we are on the takers will be greater than the givers ability to compensate. Not sure why you included gaining wealth in the motives. I know you are decribing true leadership here but was just wandering.
    When $$ are added into the lack of physical giving it opens up a whole different dicussion. I'm glad the song didn't say "You should never earn more than you give." Love your blogs, NC.

  2. To be sure, when takers outnumber givers, the tenuousness of our societal fabric is stretched to the breaking point. And, as history will bear out, those in leadership positions have too often become the takers. Lots of social upheaval occurs when that is the case - and rightly so.

    I don't oppose the gaining of wealth at all; just think there is a fundamental flaw evidenced if that is a driving motivation for those seeking leadership positions. I should have probably clarified that point a bit better.

    Thanks for the critique and for the kind words.

  3. Love this, Nelson. Leaders also need to be careful to not expect those they serve to give more than they are willing to give themselves.

    So glad a colleague shared your blog with me! Check out this TED talk....I think you'll like it!


  4. Thanks, CA. Excellent point. Have witnessed that scenario on many occasions. It is de-energizing for those who must serve under that type of leadership.

    Enjoyed the video thoroughly. Gonna use it. Thanks for sharing.


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