We Are All Called to Lead
Let’s clear something up. We are all called to lead!
“But, I’m just not the leader type.” Some people say this because they misunderstand leadership. Some people say this because they don’t want the responsibility that comes with being a leader.
But, avoiding leadership is next to impossible. Because leadership is influence and we all have influence. The question is whether it is positive influence or negative influence.
All of us have influence on the people we interact with everyday. Our title or our age has nothing to do with that.
Who’s Called to Lead?
A mother has influence. She is called to lead.
A father has influence. He is called to lead.
A brother has influence. He is called to lead.
A sister has influence. She is called to lead.
A husband has influence. He is called to lead.
A wife has influence. She is called to lead.
A friend has influence. The friend is called to lead.
A teacher has influence. The teacher is called to lead.
A grandparent has influence. The grandparent is called to lead.
A volunteer has influence. The volunteer is called to lead.
A teammate has influence. The teammate is called to lead.
A coach has influence. The coach is called to lead.
A boss has influence. The boss is called to lead.
No matter what we call ourselves, we have influence and we are called to lead.
We Have Influence No Matter Our Title
Whether we are in a work setting or sitting in a restaurant at lunch time, we have the opportunity to influence someone’s life positively or negatively.
If we take a second to thank the person cleaning the restrooms in our office building, or take the time to ask our server their name at lunch, both these simple actions can positively influence those people. If we choose to do nothing and walk past them like they are a piece of furniture, our actions can negatively influence those people as well.
It is our choice. But no matter what choice we make, we are influencing them. Therefore, we are either leading well or leading poorly.
We have to ask ourselves:
“Is this person better off now that they ran into me?”
Everything, we do and everything we say can have either a positive or a negative effect on others. If our children are watching us (they are always watching), then we are influencing the next generation of leaders.
The Bottom Line:
We all have influence on the people we meet everyday. It is up to us to decide if we are going to leave the people we meet in a better place or a worse place than they were before we met them.
We don’t need a title like Vice President or Supervisor to lead where you are. We are all called to lead, because we all have influence.
If we ignore that call to lead and to have a positive influence on the people around us, then we are a lousy leader and probably a lousy spouse, parent, friend, child, and/or co-worker.
No one needs a title to have influence on others. The question is what type of influence will we have?
How can you leave everyone you meet today better off after you meet them?
By Dave Anderson
Dave Anderson is coauthor of Becoming a Leader of Character – Six Habits that Make or Break a Leader at Work and at Home with his father General James L. Anderson (USA Retired).
Photo courtesy of author