Byron's Babbles

Enemies We Have Made

Posted in Educational Leadership, Global Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Development by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on March 29, 2023

Grover Cleveland’s enemies ended up making him more successful and influential. Troy Senik did a great job of bringing this out in his great book, A Man of Iron. The Turbulent Life and Improbable Presidency of Grover Cleveland. In 1884 when Cleveland, our 22nd and 24th President, received the Democratic nomination for President one of the descriptions used by a convention speaker was, “But they love him most for the enemies that he has made.” This really got me thinking about the effect that our enemies have on us. We certainly don’t want to let our enemies define us, but we can let them make us stronger. As in Cleveland’s case, having enemies can also bring us admirers and supporters who appreciate our courage and conviction.

We’ve all probably had situations where taking a stance on something led to the creation of enemies. I know I can think of a few. Actually, quite a few. I’ve heard some say that if we are not making enemies we are not doing anything. We certainly cannot please everyone, nor should we try; because we won’t please anyone, including ourselves. When we stand up for what we believe in and take a stance on something, there will always be those who disagree with us or see us as a threat. Our enemies, however, can serve as proof of our integrity. We can then use the opportunity to showcase our character and values. Being a leader is not about being right or being liked. It is about getting it right and progress.


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