Leadership Inspiration – from Charlie Chaplin

Without doubt there exist many great leadership speeches about vision, charisma, teams, communication, delegation, commitment, clarity, honesty, etc. given by respected and famous business leaders and managers.

There is one, however, I believe to be a rather unique and inspirational one. At the same time, it’s a very unusual one. One which talks about exceptional leadership only at a second glance. Why?

It’s a speech about a simple word: Love! What love means and what it stimulates in you and your environment. The answer: Nothing less than authenticity, respect, maturity, self-confidence, simplicity, modesty, fulfillment, and even a special sense of wisdom. Key leadership characteristics in order to love – and as a consequence – to grow yourself, your team, and your customer base. Without these attributes you will not be able to manage and to lead a successful business.

The speech is called As I Began To Love Myself:
As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is AUTHENTICITY.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody as I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it RESPECT.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it MATURITY.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment, so I could be calm. Today I call it SELF-CONFIDENCE.

As I began to love myself I quit steeling my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it SIMPLICITY.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is LOVE OF ONESELF.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is MODESTY.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it FULFILLMENT.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But As I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection WISDOM OF THE HEART.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know THAT IS LIFE!

What do you think? Looking forward to receiving your feedback. Join the discussion!

Please note: This post originally attributed the text to famed comedian Charlie Chaplin. There is, however, no evidence it is indeed Chaplin’s work. Online hoaxbusters attribute it to a retranslation of  “When I Loved Myself Enough” by Kim McMillen.