I’ll be honest, when I was told that we need more leaders in our life, I thought it was crazy talk. Assuming everyone becomes a leader, who will be left to follow? If a leader’s sole job is to create more leaders, will there be anyone left to take any action? A leader is not defined by the followers that follow any more than a dog is characterized by the bone that he chews. Leaders create leaders, influencers create followers.
When you think of leaders, who do you think of? Is it Elon Musk? Is it Gandhi? Is it Mandela? Perhaps it is a local entrepreneur, a relentless volunteer. Could it be you? Each leader has found their ability, not by the energy that comes from the fame of having followers, it came from the innate ability to run their own race. A real leader never looks over their shoulder to see who is following and who may be getting close. A real leader hopes that whoever is running behind them, passes, and finishes the race that they had started.
Do you have the ability to lead? Of course, you do and many -if not all of you- are leaders in your life in one form or another, you would not be here if you weren’t. To merely live and survive up to this point in your life is an achievement in itself. We are all leaders, but what we do not realize is just how profound of a leader we can be. And that is the power that we all struggle with. We can all be leaders and live a life of creating more leaders, but many of us, 99% of us are scared to harness such power in our lives. We are afraid to fail, take steps back, we are even scared to be infamous. Throughout our lives we are raised to not rise above the herd, to stay in line and not stand out. We are ridiculed and chastised when we were young and tried to be ourselves. Be ourselves. Isn’t that all we need to be to be the greatest leader of our time? You bet.
Living a life of understanding one’s true self and following that realization is honestly the first step to being a leader. It is when you combine that life with the motivation provided by another leader; that is when the magic happens. Leading your own life is the most challenging task of being a leader but once you get it and are motivated, creating leaders becomes a natural side-effect. People want to be better people when they are around other better people.
If you are looking for followers, become an influencer, but realize that with influence comes great pressure to continually perform at a high level. The greatest bands that have ever played a note are leaders in the music industry, carving out their path with evolutionary techniques, the one-hit-wonders, they have done nothing more than pulling a few followers in long enough until they find the next big thing. If you want to become a leader -and I think you need to be-, dig deep, meticulously find your morals, preoccupy yourself with finding your purpose and make relationships with other leaders. Soon enough, you will be running your own race, leading your own life and never looking back at anyone behind you.