Rudyard Kipling on Leadership

Rudyard Kipling on Leadership


In one of the most famed poems ever written, "If" by Rudyard Kipling, the fourth stanza states that "If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And – which is more – you'll be a Man, my son.

It seems evident that Kipling intended for this to be written as an inspirational poem for his son. However, the aforementioned stanza applies directly to leadership and the ability of a leader to handle the tasks associated with the position. Specifically, when Kipling says, "Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch." Spending my entire life in public service, it is all too often that our leaders lose touch with their troops and focus more on themselves as a status figure.

If we as EMS professionals can teach this early in the careers of the next generation of EMTs and paramedics, it is possible that this profession will not only become autonomous but will also grow beyond our expectations. Kipling teaches us that to be a man (person) in a position of leadership, we must understand ("lose the common touch") the people we work for and not stand on our proverbial soapbox once promoted. A leader will likely succeed, but so will the people he or she works for.

Anyway, those are my thoughts? If you have any, please feel free to comment.

Regards, as always be well, and be safe