The following article was written by Russ Mogell, CEO of Seven Sourcing, and he can be harassed via email here. My five-year-old son, Jack, is in pre-school, and each day a student from his class is chosen to be the “line leader.” The line leader is responsible for carrying the soap bucket and leading the class down the hall to the bathroom for the morning break. While this may seem to be a trivial task, my son gets very excited when chosen to be the line leader.
Leadership can take on many roles, and it is very important to be able to rise to the occasion and embrace it. Unfortunately, however, most of us do not. We sometimes get nervous to take the lead, doubting our abilities or thinking we will be rejected or judged. We may also believe that being a leader comes with too much responsibility. The truth is that there is nothing wrong with being nervous. At some point, every great leader led a group, pioneered an idea or started a revolution for the first time. Furthermore, while leadership does utilize responsible qualities, it in no way equates to too much responsibility. Leadership brings about an innate sense of confidence and know-how that is hard to replicate.
There are some people that love leading. But for some of us, it can be a struggle to find the energy and courage to lead. This is the moment when it is most important to listen to that little voice inside of our head telling us that we can do this. By exhibiting leadership qualities in any aspect of our lives, it makes others view us as responsible, confident and trustworthy. This can highly impact our career, relationships and day-to-day tasks.
There are thousands of books written on leadership with endless bullet points on how to become a great leader, but I believe it comes down to one simple word. “Yes”--as in “yes, I can do this.”
Perhaps it’s the novelty of carrying the soap bucket or just being first in line, and although my son may not realize it yet, he is making a great decision to embrace leadership. At the end of the day, he has the confidence to stand tall and accept the challenge--and that is the first step in becoming a leader.