Are You a Leader?
Whether you like it or not, you are a leader. Sorry to be the one to break the news to you. Someone is always watching and following the example that you are setting. The type of leader you are is up to you and the choices that you make. Being a leader does not mean that you cannot make a mistake; plenty of leaders have stumbled and fell. What defines a true leader is how you bounce back from your mistakes and setbacks. Leadership is a skill you can develop and the following quotes have impacted my life and helped to improve my leadership abilities.
Stop Blaming Others
James Allen wrote in his book, As a Man Thinketh, “A man only begins to be a man when he ceases to whine and revile, and commences to search for the hidden justice which regulates his life. And as he adapts his mind to that regulating factor, he ceases to accuse others as the cause of his condition.” In other words, a boy becomes a man when he stops blaming others for his mistakes. James Allen’s book was published in 1903 and the lessons that are taught in the book still apply today. A family member shared this book with me and I am unsure if he is aware of the impact the book has had on my life (Thanks, cousin!). We cannot blame others for our shortcomings in life. Leaders do not blame others, and leaders help carry the load for their teammates. There are countless examples of sports stars taking the blame for the loss to help shield their teammates from ridicule. Tom Brady, the New England Patriot quarterback, said this after a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015, “The team trusts you to put the ball in your hands and make good decisions with it,” he said. “So it’s unfortunate because those cost you the game, and I’ve got to do a better job.” You will never mistake me for a Patriots fan, but I am a fan of leaders that step up to the plate when the job calls for it.
Be the Change
Mahatma Gandhi, an Indian Nationalist leader, said, “be the change that you wish to see in the world.” I had heard of Gandhi before this quote and all of his great sacrifices and achievements, but none of those things touched my heart and spirit the way that his words did. As an educator, I always encourage my students to make connections with passages that we study, pop culture, history, and etcetera. As my mind searched its databank of information, and I was reminded of the bible scripture from Galatians 6:7, that says that “Whatever a man sows, he will reap in return.” The synapses in my brain started firing off and thinking about my past decisions, the good, the bad and the ugly. I had not always been the change that could make my life, my city, and this world better. But after reading Gandhi’s quote I knew that if I wanted to receive good from others then I need to put good into the world. Being a leader does not mean that you will always receive praise, honor, and glory for the great job that you are doing as a leader. Do not forget that whether you know it or not, someone is always following your lead. Make sure you lead by showing others the change you want to see in the world.
Solid Gold Success
“Shared leadership and independence give others a chance to lead as well as follow,” writes Don Taylor, in her book Solid Gold Success Strategies.This quote is important because as leaders sometimes it is hard to delegate and give up some control. Leaders that master this skill are able to lead teams with high morale and the members of the team enjoy following their leader because they know that their leader wants them to grow and develop. Unfortunately, I have been the victim of leaders that only have their bottom line in mind and do not seek opportunities to help their team grow and develop. Lolly Daskal, the author of The Leadership Gap, said, “Let people be part of the solution. Whatever the problem, allow others to participate in solving it.” The leaders that do plant seeds of positivity, their influence will last a lifetime and will open doors for employees that they may not have been able to open without you. You might not see the fruit of your labor, but good leaders do not need to see it because they do what is right because it is the right thing to do.
If You Lead, They Will Follow
The previous quotes have taken my life in the right direction. Every day at IMar Learning Solutions we are looking for new ways to help our students, staff, and readers. We truly believe that you can develop into the leader that is hidden inside of you. We believe so much that we offer the “Leadership” section of our online course “IMar’s-Critical Thinking Academy” for free. What quote about leadership has changed your life and career? Share it in the comment section and do not forget to subscribe.