Ever-challenging decisions are the hallmark of your upward mobility in leadership. Know two things: (1) Leadership is influence and (2) you have influence. In fact, its greater and more important than you could gather. If you would see your influence grow (and more positively at that) then you would choose to make some hard decisions. So, imagine with me, we are in the landscape of your life and there is desert in the distance, some mountains and streams, rainy days and snowy nights. I smell the dank aroma of mud but also the sweet nectar of honeysuckle. This variety in climate is an image of good days and bad days, easy times and hard times and the greatest challenges to your influence.
Upon climbing that mountain, swimming upstream or trekking through the dry, dangerous desert something becomes glaringly apparent. This is no longer about your ability or inability, it’s about your guts, your instincts and your resolute tenacity. You see, the greatest challenge to your leadership isn’t on the horizon and it will not be waiting for you in the bad days more than the good. It isn’t about social demographics, personality tests, race, education or hierarchies. Taking a step beyond that, the greatest challenge to your influence has nothing to do with opportunity granted or lost.
So let’s now rephrase the question to get at the heart of the matter. The greatest challenge to your leadership is not a “what” it’s a “who” and that ‘who’…is you. I don’t know if Dr. Seuss himself could have said that better. When trudging through the mud, battling the loneliness or when climbing the mountain top amidst its breathtaking views it’s still…you. You see, it’s always been you. It’s been the sum of your attitude, your hopes, dreams and fears. It’s been the good, the bad and the ugly all rolled into that person you love the most. Heeding or not heeding the calling on your life could lead to a presidential podium, an opulent office or digging through greasy garbage. This is unfair sometimes, unreal sometimes yet it’s life and it’s your life and you have a calling. There is the echo of the voice within as deep calls to deep.
The Creator of the universe is issuing that call whether you know it or like it. Barack Obama, Charlie Sheen and Ellen DeGeneres all have a call on their life. God loves them and would see their influence “re-created” for and after His heart. Listen well: God has a “chosen people” who are also a “sent people” and you are one of them. Where would you find the greatest challenge to your influence in this ebb and flow of life? This isn’t a how to list or a 20-question quiz to discover yourself. It’s ownership time. Look in the mirror, perhaps darkly at first but look long and hard enough for why your influence isn’t turning this world on its ear. The greatest challenge to your leadership is yourself. What are going to do about it?
- On Leadership and Memorial Day (linked2leadership.com)
- The Many Flavors of Leadership (customerthink.com)
- 2 Pillars of Leadership (richardburkey.wordpress.com)