Leadership (part 3) – Why do I need to be a leader?

I misread my outline in Part 2. I promised to cover how to become a leader without realizing my next topic was about why we need to be leaders. Obviously you believe in leadership or you wouldn’t be here. But let me tell you some reasons that you need to be a leader. They won’t all apply to you, but nobody gets out of all of them.

Ross Perot’s sucking sound of jobs going overseas has become part of the norm, hitting blue-collar and white-collar jobs alike. In our jobs, we are paid to think, solve problems, and usually work as a team. We have to bring value. We need to differentiate ourselves by being leaders and followers are the right times (only a leader would know which is appropriate at what time).

Leadership is part of our brand. A brand is something we trust, like the usability of Apple, the convenience of Amazon.com, or the on-time deliver of Fed-Ex. Rain Man wanted to fly Qantas Airlines because they were known for not have accidents. He trusted their brand, not because of an advertisement. Our rewards depend on the way people see our brand. We are drawn to good leaders, provided we trust them. There’s trusting people to keep a secret. There’s trusting people to do their job. There’s trusting people to make sure the team is successful.

Nobody wants to be a victim of changes. We want control over our lives and what happens. We have things we want to see happen in our lives, at our jobs, in our worlds. Take it from the most reluctant leader, I just wanted to go for the ride. The problem is that eventually I was unsatisfied with where the bus was taking me. How do we get the outcome if we do not contribute to the outcome? How do we contribute to the outcome without building trust from others? How does another trust us if we haven’t listened, assessed, or shared a vision?

The future will come. What the future will become is not determined yet. Will the world get hotter? Will governments bend too far to the left or the right? What happens when we run out of fossil fuels? Can our children become competent with declining relative investment in schooling them? Nobody is going to solve all these problems, or even one. Teams will work on them just to limit their effect, in fact teams of teams. You have an interest in these things. Will you join one cause to help solve one problem? And as your children watch you will they be inspired to lead in a cause, or will they be inspired by the TV schedule?

In my next post, I will discuss how to become a leader (I really promise, this time I mean it!).


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