I missed posting on Tuesday. On my way to missing another post today, I remembered this one. I wrote this last fall for Kevin Eikenberry’s Best Leadership Blogs contest. It was also originally posted at Kevin’s blog and on Mountain State University LeaderTalk. (I repost here with permission from both.) I hope you enjoy it.
I don’t know that I am entirely telling the truth in the last section of this post, when I write that I don’t need to be a superhero. Some days, it would be nice to have some extraordinary powers… come to think of it, I would love some today. I am preparing to travel to a conference and I have lots I want to get done. (Who am I kidding? I always have lots I want to get done.)
I would love your thoughts about how the decision to lead has transformed your life.
The decision to lead is a transforming one.
- action over inaction
- involvement over detachment
- influence over observation
- passion over passivity
Picture Clark Kent: mousy and meek, slouched and silent, blending into the background. Then, suddenly: bright colors, flashes of light, he disrobes to reveal Superman. Propelled by a need to make wrong things in the world right, he morphs from ordinary to extraordinary in an instant.
Leaders are superheroes without the supernatural powers. Leaders choose to use their strengths and potential for the good of others, every day, wherever they are.
Leaders choose action. Wherever they are, leaders find needs and step forward to get involved and meet them. Instead of watching things happen, they make things happen.
Leaders choose involvement. While some people may prefer to let life happen around them, leaders want to be involved in relationships and activity. Leaders choose to be involved with meaningful work. Leaders choose a mission of involvement with others.
Leaders choose influence. Leaders move past merely observing the world around them to influence others. Leaders may influence others’ thinking first, challenging their assumptions and creating awareness of different realities. Then leaders influence others choices and actions.
Leaders choose passion. The choices of action, involvement, and influence create momentum and emotion. It is impossible to be actively involved in influencing others while remaining impassive. Leaders choose passion instead, pushing past fatigue and apathy to leverage their energy for the good of others.
I don’t need to be a superhero, morphing from Mom to Storm in the confines of my dented silver minivan. But I do want to help transform the world by leading others to lives of action, involvement, influence, and passion.
Will you join me?