Monday, June 01, 2009

Be A Leader

Each of us has the need to leave a legacy before moving on. The legacy we leave can be demonstrated by our sense of purpose and the contributions in our lifetime. We all have a higher calling and responsibility to be positive influences in the world. The world will benefit from more great leaders who help develop and inspire people down more positive paths. Every person in life has a role to be a leader because we live in a society where people have a common vision to achieve their dreams at the same time doing some good in this world before the end. That is purpose, and purpose is always present just as there will always be someone present who is going to take our place. We all move on and we all die therefore we must lead our children, employees and peers to be better than we were in less time than it took us to get there.

Leadership is…
… willingness to always learn and this is a lifetime commitment just like our individual purposes to live life to the fullest. Leadership is focusing your time and energy on making a positive impact in people lives. Leadership is no matter where you go or what you do. Leadership is influence and is best by example. Leadership is focusing on strengths and compensating for your weaknesses.

Leaders…
... are original and their own person. Leaders develop and focus on people. Leaders are passionate and trustworthy. Leaders have long-range perspective and know what and why. Leaders will watch the horizon and originate new ideas. Leaders challenge and don’t give up. Leaders do the right thing. Are you a leader? Will you be a leader?
Whether you believe in the Bible or not, there is a passage from the book of Matthew where Jesus challenges us to be salt and light - to influence the world, and to be seen doing so: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven”. Matthew 5:13-16

Salt and light is analogous to leadership and makes for a comparable discussion. While salt improves taste and makes us thirsty, great leaders will strive to make life better. Trustworthy and passionate leaders have an infectious personality that make others thirsty and wanting to learn more. Light shines on dark and exposes what is, all the while bringing color, providing direction and warming the heart. With long-range perspective and an eye on the horizon, leaders light the way and demonstrate to the world why that way is the best.

It is important to understand that the point of leading is not to engage as many followers as possible. The purpose of leadership is to create more leaders. We are all leaders to varying degrees so be the salt and the light of the world. Take advantage of the opportunities where we can teach something to someone therefore and be consistent with it therefore leaving a legacy. Be a leader, the world needs more of them and if you are not leading then you are simply going for a walk. A walk alone is lonely, go back and bring someone along.

"The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind in others the conviction and will to carry on." - Walter Lippman

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