The 50th Law: Lead From The Front-Authority

It's been a month since my last post on The 50th Law. I apologize for the delays. I have completely finished the book and learned so much along the way, but because of work and other writing assignments, I have been delayed. So without further ado.. In Chapter 6 of the 50th Law, the authors discuss leadership and the importance of leaders setting the tone and following through.  The chapter begins with the story of a young Curtis Jackson outmaneuvering an older rival hustler king on the streets of Southside Jamaica.  It then juxtaposes this early lesson on the path of success to his experiences in the music industry after the success of his first album in 2003.  Nothing different here.  All of the chapters in the book thus far have followed this similar format.  Some of the critics complain about this, arguing that the authors repeat many of the same stories in each chapter.  However, I see it as 50 Cent sharing his life experiences on both the streets and within the corporate culture.

The chapter then goes on to focus on the qualities that creates a leader and the many fears and qualities that have destroyed them.  A leader is born following the consistent pattern:

"..Certain people stand out from the crowd because of some special skill or talent that they have.  Perhaps they are masters at the political game, knowing how to charm and win the proper allies.  Or maybe they have superior technical knowledge in their field.  Or maybe they are the ones who initiate some bold venture that has success.  In any event, these types suddenly find themselves in leadership positions, something for which their past experience and education has not prepared them."

[pages 155-156]

The authors then point out that once the leader is successful and alone on top, their decisions and actions are scrutinized by their peers and the public.  Many leaders fall prey to this kind of pressure.  They succumb to their fears, lose their bold spirit and creativity and become more cautious and conservative.  They are either afraid of becoming accountable for every decision and poor result, or act like dictators trying to control every situation and every person. [156]

The authors argue that leaders should not lead from behind.  Instead the most successful leaders, they argue, lead from the front and by example. They work harder than anyone else, practice what they preach, are not afraid to take tough risks and boost morale of their group and earn tremendous respect.  [158-159]

These leaders of course range the gamut from legendary film director John Ford, Moses from the Bible, Thomas Alva Edison the legendary scientist and innovator, King of France Louis XIV and Napoleon Bonaparte.  Again, another aspect about the book that I love is how the authors use actual historical figures and their biographies to follow through with the points.

This chapter points out the important lessons that successful leaders have learned:

  1. It is much better to be feared and respected than to be loved. Tough leaders build a reputation for toughness and getting results and may garner resentment but always gain respect. They do not seek to be loved or liked and rarely give rewards or compliments. When they do, followers know that they are genuine and respect them even more.

  2. Leaders have to play four important roles to impress their disciples and make them follow them without losing enthusiasm. Those roles are: visionary, unifier, role model and bold knight. Each role requires a certain amount of energy, effort, boldness, fearlessness, knowledge and strength.

[Pages 159-171]

You will have to read this chapter for yourself to learn how successful leaders balance all of these qualities.  As a leader in the past, I have had my share of successes and failures.  I have learned some of these lessons the hard way which is through my experience.   We have all had experiences with bad leaders and everyone suffers under poor leadership. I urge readers who are in leadership positions or who want to be to read this book and learn more.