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Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

Leadership Lessons from Nikki Haley’s Book “With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace”

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Nikki R. Haley served as United States Ambassador to the United Nations from 2017 to 2019. She had previously served as Governor of South Carolina from 2011 to 2017, and in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2004 – 2010. With All Due Respect covers highlights from primarily her most recent positions, and includes a number of leadership lessons. Here are some of my favorite leadership quotes from the book:

  • I’ve always been underestimated. I’ve always responded by diving in, working harder than everyone else, and proving them wrong. I don’t let what other people think bother me. I just work.
  • (About President Trump): Our styles were very different, but we were both fundamentally disrupters of the status quo. And we were both action-oriented.
  • It’s one of the most important leadership lessons I’ve learned: Don’t talk for the sake of talking. When you say something, make it matter. If you agree with something, offer ways to make it happen. If you disagree, say so. But always have a plan to find a solution.

  • In the most stressful situations, it’s best to wait twenty-four hours before you return fire, if you can. Waiting twenty-four hours allows you to pick and choose your battles.
  • Dr. Kissinger and I began to have regular lunches. One of the best pieces of advice he gave me was this: Put yourself in your adversary’s shoes. Understand what he wants and use that to guide your negotiation. You don’t have to agree with him—most times you won’t. But you have to understand his motivations. You have to understand where he’s coming from.
  • “I wear heels,” I said. “It’s not for a fashion statement. It’s because if I see something wrong, we’re going to kick them every single time.”
  • I always said we would be “taking names,” and that goes both ways—taking the names of those who work against us, but also taking the names of those who stand with us.
  • In the end, we were only partially successful in changing the culture at the UN. But what we did succeed in doing was leading again. By showing what American leadership looks like, we opened up new possibilities for progress.
  • (In regards to President Trump’s words after the Charlottesville shooting): A leader’s words matter in these situations. And the president’s words had been hurtful and dangerous. Moral clarity was essential, and the president’s words were not providing that.
  • At every point in my life I’ve noticed that if you speak your mind and you’re strong about it, a small percentage of people will resent you. And the way they deal with their resentment is to throw charges at you—lies or not—to see what sticks. They do this to diminish you. Women, especially, have been dealing with this for a long time.
  • Much more than who we are is what we do. The truth is, to do what you want to do, whether it’s to succeed in business or politics or to help people, you have to push through the fear. This is one of the great lessons I have learned in my life.
  • When I embrace a new challenge instead of avoiding it, I am always amazed at how much stronger and confident I become. When a challenge presents itself, instead of stepping backward, I jump. When I feel the fear in my gut, I push through it. And when you do what you fear most and you succeed, something amazing happens. Your confidence, your strength, and your abilities grow beyond what you ever thought possible.
  • (In response to White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow threw her under the bus, stating that she had been confused about Russian sanctions): “With all due respect, I don’t get confused.”
  • If I couldn’t end the practice of giving America’s enemies a free pass to oppress their people, I was determined to at least call it out—loudly.
  • My view was, and is, if your position is right, you should not be ashamed of it. You should be proud to stand alone with it if you must.
  • Many countries criticize us when we take a stand. But what I learned at the UN is that these countries want the United States to lead. They count on us to lead.
  • I was guided by what my parents had always taught us: Whatever you do, be great at it and make sure people remember you for it.
  • I have always lived for the day. I’ve always believed that if I made this day a great day, life’s doors would open. It has happened so many times in my life. Doors opened, and I found the courage to jump through. And every time I did, I came out stronger on the other side.
  • Everyone needs to remember that when you push through the fear, you change lives. When you pull back, you never know what could have been.
  • War is never inevitable. In fact, making terrible deals with the world’s most vicious regimes is more likely to lead to war. Demonstrating resolve and strength is more likely to avoid war.

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

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