But, not necessarily for the anointed, elected or self-professed type. In fact, not even the hired and titled type.
Now more than ever you need to lead - not for fame and fortune though, but because of who you will need to become in order to do so. You see, taking the task to lead isn’t particularly noble or altruistic, done authentically, it’s a selfish objective accomplished through selfless actions.
People, and by that I might mean those in your family, church, school, association, product group or company, are hungry to connect with something authentic, and few things feel more authentic than leadership driven from a passion to become better and, in doing so, make those who follow better.
- True leadership is an inside job. It requires you to focus on yourself, on being the true yourself that connects to a higher purpose and then goes to work on purpose. By higher, I don’t necessarily mean spiritual or religious, I mean authentic - something that drives you past your fear, to a place where you make decisions about the actions you take for the good of the cause.
- True leadership requires that you live a story. Your higher cause, the thing that drives you to work on yourself, needs a simple manta. A story you tell yourself, and then others, and that is passed throughout the cause, likely becoming on it’s own something larger than you first created. It’s the rallying cry for the troops.
- True leadership takes dogged determination. Oh, others will try to talk you out of lifting yourself up because you may ask them to raise their game, you might shine a light that allows other to shine as well, but you will encounter those who want you to stay in the dark with them. You may need to say “this is how we do it here” several thousand times before you believe it so thoroughly no one can doubt you.
But in the end, the lead you take is equal to the lead you make. (apologies to Lennon/McCartney)
John Jantsch is a marketing and digital technology coach and author of Duct Tape Marketing.