People are starving for true leadership.
In the absence of it, they tend to follow anyone with a microphone, and that can lead to some pretty screwed up situations. Just take a look around you. Where do you see true leadership? Where do you see the posers?
The good news is that this void of quality leadership means that true leadership will stand out. True leaders are different. They have substance. They make things change, and they have something to show for their efforts. They aren’t always rich. They aren’t always first. They aren’t always right. But they always lead.
Like Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf said, when in charge, lead. As a business owner, entrepreneur, or boss, what are you doing to build, improve, or grow your leadership ability? What are you doing that requires you to truly lead? If I were to ask someone who knows you well, what would they tell me about your ability to lead?
Passivity is rampant and infectious. We give ourselves any number of reasons to do nothing: “Someone else is more qualified. I don’t want to offend anyone. It looks too difficult. What will others think.” Let’s face it- it’s just easier to just get along and go with the flow. The prevailing voices and status quo seem so powerful, so sure, and so popular—why challenge it?
Because they may be wrong.
Because if you do nothing, you’re a part of the problem. You will never grow your business or have a worthwhile contribution to the world with that mindset. But the opportunity is there to make a huge difference for someone. Maybe lots of someones.
Making a living is good. Using your talents, skills, and gifts to take care of your family, provide jobs, and build an economy is a good thing. But leaders think bigger than that. You can build a company or you can change an entire industry. You can get a job or pursue a dream. You can open a restaurant, or you can feed the world. My friend Josh opened StreetBreads with the idea of creating great food from the world’s pantry-healthy, honest, and vibrant living food that will change the way people think about eating healthy. StreetBreads is the storefront for a movement towards a healthier, more sustainable way of distributing delicious foods to everyone – no matter where you live. Needless to say, it’s more than just a sandwich shop.
You don’t have to speak at a TEDx conference, run for office, or command troops into battle to be a true leader. You just have to have a vision and refuse to let it die.
In my opinion, Jesus Christ was the greatest true leader in all recorded history. He once said, “Nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house,” (Matthew 5:15). Your opportunity to shine is coming, if not already here. How will you take advantage of it? As a leadership coach, I can help you become the true leader you want to be. Don’t be passive. Get in touch.
Next post, we will look at the qualities of leadership in some simple and digestible, yet profound nuggets that will apply to any endeavor, any leader, anywhere.
Next Week: Qualities of Leadership