We’re all Leaders, However…

Everyone can be a leader. Seriously.

Actually, you can go further than that. Everyone is a leader…but some of us stink at it.

Most people want to think that since they aren’t the big boss, they aren’t leaders. Subsequently, they are responsible for very little of the bad things that happen, or for the good things that fail to happen.

The reality, though, is that almost everyone can have an impact, even if it is not from the top of the food chain. When we ignore our responsibility to push our little worlds in the right direction, it is a failure of our leadership.

How can you move a situation forward when you aren’t the boss? Well, you could take a page out of Alex Haley’s playbook, and, as he famously said, “Find the good and praise it.”* People respond to positive reinforcement. If we find the good and praise it, people will be moved. Maybe they won’t go as far or as fast as we want, but they will move. If we develop a reputation for such comments and such an attitude, people will listen for our voices.

I want to be clear here: I am not talking about false praise or insincerity. I am referring to specific, detailed encouragement where we see good work and/or good attitudes.

We can (to paraphrase Tony Campolo) make a difference. We have to make a difference because the world needs it.

We have the power to lead. There is a need for leaders. Will you answer the call?


* I became aware of this quotation because of Randall O’Brien, President of Carson-Newman University.