April 8, 2012


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Who are you leading?

When you think about leaders, you usually picture them as people with exceptional gifts. Physically gifted. Good speakers. Naturally confident. The CEO. The business owner. The hero.

This is a myth that we propagate. The problem is that there are so many other kinds of leaders out there. They need to be recognized. They need to be encouraged. Leadership is a learned skill. But, like I’ve said in previous posts, we tend to think people are just naturally one way or another. We like our heroes. We want to be them. Rarely do we actually try to be one.

Companies struggle to be leaders too. I think this is because once they reach a modicum of success, they shift their energies to maintaining that success rather than continuing to innovate and take the chances that got them there. Seth Godin has a great quote about leadership that I think relates to business, marketing and even our individual choices:

Leadership is about finding a group that is disconnected but already has a yearning. Not persuading people to want something they don’t have yet.

I come back to this quote often. In my business life and my personal life, I think about that feeling of yearning. Some of it is my desire to find meaning in my daily choices—big ones and small. Some of it is my desire to connect to a tribe. A lot of it is my desire to be relevant in the short time that I am here.

Maybe that is key part—what is relevant. We are all relevant in one way or another. It’s just a matter of finding those people, that cause, even that small personal passion that is relevant to you. And committing to it. Evangelizing it. Sharing it. Leadership is inevitably the result.

So, when you step back and think about what matters most to you, what is it? Why is it important?

And who are you leading?

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