Can I Lead? Yes. But…There is a danger in selling leadership to everyone.
Serious practitioners of leadership know that there is a lot of work that goes into being a good leader (dictators of any variety, not so much).
Competence in your chosen context for leadership aside, the life-long inside work of leadership—figuring out what you won’t do before you figure out what you will do—is sometimes gut-wrenching and sometimes the most thrilling feeling you can experience.
Character usually isn’t explicitly stated in the sales pitch. Instead, leadership is quite often seen as a way to be heard, to advance your own agenda and to put yourself out front.
It is no surprise that Alan Webber recently wrote in the Washington Post:
You will be told that you have a responsibility to be leaders. That what the world needs more than ever are leaders. That we suffer from a lack of leadership. That with your education, your values, your ability to apply social media, your global vision, your youthful idealism, you will be the next generation of leaders!Choosing to lead is one of the most rewarding decisions you may ever make. But it’s not about you. Yes, you will bring your unique and much needed gifts to the world, but not for your own sake. Your job is to use your gifts to help others express, make known and fulfill their potential. Influencing others with a purpose, a calling, and with opportunities they never imagined they had.
It’s a mindset of service. It’s a mindset of continual learning. It’s a mindset of growth.
The single biggest truth of leadership is that we build who we are by building up others.
That doesn’t come naturally to us, but it’s your calling, if you would be a leader.
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