Week 36 - Are You A Leader?

Posted by J. Clay Norton on 5/19/2017 7:00:00 AM

"Leaders who don't listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say." - Andy Stanley


Well, it is that time of year again...  The last of "Thoughts on Leadership" 


As we close out the year, I found this post by Steve Keating, https://stevekeating.me/2017/03/19/what-makes-a-leader/ and thought it would be good to share as we close out the year. We have to know "What Makes a Leader."    


 What makes a leader?  I'm sure everyone can come up with his or her own ideas for an answer to this question.  But... are our ideas formed from what society thinks or from what you think?  I believe that success can be equated with leadership but at what expense?  Here is a thought, just because people follow you does not make you are a leader.  A "leader" is so much more than directing where others should go and what they should do.  Can we be a leader that puts off the "self" and puts on the "others" mentality?  Leadership is sometimes hard to define but very easily recognized.  The hardest question to answer is the one we have to ask ourselves, "Am I a good leader?"  We can lie to ourselves but those who follow us know the truth.  


 As we continue to lead, the challenge is to become a servant leader.  It must be about others.  Everyone around will breathe a little easier.  


 Thank you so much for a wonderful year.  We have had a stellar year in athletics.  So much to be proud of... Our teams competed at the highest level.  Every sport made or qualified for playoffs and post-season play.  We had twenty-nine athletes sign letters of intent to play at the next level.  Nineteen of our teams had a 3.000 GPA or better for the first semester.  Twelve teams won the District Championship.  And... We have three State Champion Teams along with good many individual state champions in their respective sports.  


 A thank you also goes out to our community and our supporters.  Your commitment to helping us sound the ArrowWarchant is greatly appreciated.


 Go Arrows!




What Makes a Leader


Calling yourself a leader does not make you a leader. Holding a position of leadership in your organization does not make you a leader. Having an important sounding title does not make you a leader. Having someone else describe you as a leader does not make you a leader.


Your promotion to a leadership position does not make you a leader, in fact the managerial skills that likely earned you the promotion are very likely holding you back as a leader.


If you’re trying to manage your people then you will always have people problems. Human beings do not respond to being managed. Actually leading your people will permanently eliminate most of the “people problems” managers face everyday. 


So, here are a handful of traits that contribute to being a leader:


Risking your success being hidden inside the success of someone else makes you a leader. 


Caring as much about the advancement of those around you as you care about your own advancement makes you a leader.


Tackling the assignments no one else will tackle makes you a leader. 


Investing your time where it’s needed rather than where you want to makes you a leader. 


Making right decisions that most people simply won’t makes you a leader.


Finding common ground where only mud previously existed makes you a leader.


Seeing the potential within every person you meet makes you a leader. 


Doing what’s right when everyone around you believes it’s wrong makes you a leader.


Working to build more leaders rather than more followers makes you a leader.


Understanding that your own success is dependent upon the success of your people makes you a leader.


Having the courage to let the best idea win, whether it’s yours or someone else’s makes you a leader.


Understanding that constant collaborative communication with your people will help them succeed makes you a leader.


A willingness to be held accountable, by anyone and everyone makes you a leader.


Being completely honest with yourself makes you a leader.


These are some of the traits that make a leader. To be sure there are more. Few leaders possess every recognized leadership characteristic but they possess more than people who do not lead.


The right to truly lead must be earned. It can’t be earned through what you say, it is earned through what you do. Leader “wannabes” tend to talk leadership, Authentic Leaders tend to do leadership. 


Are you just talking or are you doing?