Being or Becoming a Leader

I heard Erwin McManus give an inspiring speech on being or becoming a leader.

As I describe his take on the topic, perhaps you will recognize some of traits.

First, show up. The opportunity to lead doesn’t come to you. You go to it. You have to be in the arena where leadership is needed to become a leader.

Second, nominate yourself. When I find myself in a new setting, I  immediately look for the leader. If there is one, I try to figure out where the group is going and assess whether the mission is something I can be excited about.  If I can’t find one, I try to assess whether my leadership could help matters. So, follow good leadership or lead where you can. When neither can happen, find a new arena.

I’m a great believer in self nomination. I’ve often been surprised when someone who reveals an ambition or skill set of which I was unaware and offers to use it. I’ve learned to trust that initiative. Odds are it leads to bigger things.

McManus says that leaders have a record of exceeding expectations. Without being asked. They seem to get that investing time, effort and creativity on the front end will yield results. He put it this way: “Leaders act without waiting for the ask.”

Finally, he says leaders go to the frontline. It’s risky on the frontline but he notes that is where the battle is joined and where it’s won.

He says going to the front takes courage. He says going to the front is where experience is gained.

He notes that in his leadership talk doesn’t involve who has the highest IQ or the best education. Showing up, self nomination, exceeding the expectations all involve action and decisiveness. Go for it!