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If You Will Lead

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If You Will Lead

Enduring Wisdom for 21st-Century Leaders

AGATE Publishing,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

If they can lead, so can you…“If– ” you read the right poem.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


“If–,” the famous poem by Victorian poet Rudyard Kipling, captures the essence of modern-day leadership. Leadership consultant Doug Moran offers a fascinating, instructive perspective that identifies the “If Sixteen Leadership Attributes” that Kipling’s poem describes. Moran’s well-researched biographies of historic figures illustrate qualities Kipling found essential to great leadership. getAbstract recommends Moran’s insights to students of history and to good leaders seeking to become great.


“Rudyard Kipling as Leadership Guru”

Rudyard Kipling was born in 1865 to English expatriates living in Bombay, India. At age 24, he moved to England, where he gained literary success, prosperity and acclaim for his poetry, short stories and books. Kipling won the Nobel Prize in 1907 and published “If–” in 1910. He hobnobbed with many of his era’s political, literary and social leaders. Kipling continued to write until his death at age 70 in 1936.

Using Kipling’s Classic Poem “If–” as a Leadership Model

Exercising excellent leadership requires the fortitude to accept the challenges of being in charge. Kipling cautioned that “leadership is not about attaining perfection,” but instead committing to greater awareness and better choices. His poem “If–” defines 16 leadership traits that make up “the If Sixteen Leadership Framework.” It cites four defining areas:

  • “Knowing who you are and what you believe.”
  • “Knowing what you want.”
  • “Attracting others and motivating them to follow.”
  • “Earning and retaining the privilege to lead.”

The lives of 16 famous leaders illustrate the leadership attributes highlighted in “If–.” ...

About the Author

Doug Moran founded the If You Will Lead LLC consultancy on leadership development, coaching, organizational excellence and infrastructure.

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