That’s right.  You are a leader.  Not because of your title. Not because of your position on the Deacon board neither because you have father 3 wonderful children.  You are a leader because you are.  Independent of all the accomplishments around you, independent of your natural leadership talents you are a leader.

Maybe for some this idea of your ability to be a leader seems unrealistic.  Maybe you have shied away from any activity or opportunity that would thrust you into the sphere of leadership.  And then there are others of you that whole heartedly concur with the premise that you are a leader.  You probably see yourself as a leader in many different areas of your life, whether at home or at the “office”.

The reality is that all of us have the ability to be a leader.  Leaders aren’t born leaders; they are born little babies that have all the fundamental needs of a pinkie (a newborn mouse).  When was the last time you saw a pinkie leading a charge against anything.  Just like that little pinkie, we have to grow, learn and be nurtured.  The reality is that we can all develop into leaders; leaders in all areas of our lives.  Sure some of us may never lead a charge against the opposition but most of us will have a chance to demonstrate influence in multiple areas of our lives.

Now for those of you that do see yourself as a leader…Awesome!!!  But bear with me as I ask you why.  And before you answer the question please don’t tell me it’s because you have some title of authority or you have achieved success academically.  True leadership never comes from a title or because of gained possessions.  Have you ever met a manager that couldn’t manage well or a parent that struggled as a parent?  The hard reality is that if you consider yourself to be a leader, you are because you worked at.  And as much as I would love to give everyone an “Easy Button” there is no such thing for leaders.  Being a leader will take time and energy and determination and persistence, practice and patience.  And unfortunately promotions of epic proportion, good genetics or a nurturing environment (helpful though they may be) are not strong predictors of your leadership potential.

And here is the good news; our ability to be a leader and not just a leader but a good leader lies completely in our ability to understand what skills it takes to be a leader and pursue after it as if your life depends on it.   Maybe your life will not depend on you being a good leader, but someone else’s life may.

So for those of you that are leaders, congratulations keep doing what you do and for those of you, who have not quite unleashed that leader inside of you, go for it, you can do it we believe in you and we need you.


Leadership is your ability to inspire and influence the people.  Although some may be born with nature leadership traits, true leadership comes from learning and can be practiced by anyone who has the willingness to put aside his or her personal interests for the best interests of the team. Great leaders know that everyone on their team has a significant role to play in achieving the goal.  It’s a leader’s responsibility to facilitate bringing out the best effort of those around them.

When applied consistently, following principles will help you achieve continuous success as a leader:

You Matter.  Lead now because your leadership is needed now more than ever.

Set challenging goals and expect the best from your team. Goals will help create a sense of purpose and urgency.

You go first.  Lead by example.  Your team needs to know which way to go and that the way is clear.

Hire the right people and assign tasks based on individual strengths and capabilities. Each team member needs to know their role.

Let your team know you care.  Show them with both word and actions.

Help your team create a set of ground rules describing behaviors they want and don't want as they work together.  A self-regulated team frees up the leaders time to plan and create vision.

Build trust along the way.  You can’t do much of anything on your own.  Trust can be hard to achieve and easy to lose.  Be a person worthy of another’s’ trust.

Don't de-motivate your team by over-managing their efforts, but do give them both positive and constructive feedback on their performance.  You hired them to do a job now let them go and do it.

Listen to your team's ideas and suggestions, as well as their concerns and complaints. Take their comments seriously and act upon their input.  Every member of the team has a voice that needs to be heard.

Celebrate your team's successes. Recognize individuals, as well as the team collectively for their efforts and accomplishments.  Don’t wait for permission to recognize your people, even if you have to sacrifice some of your personal resources to do so.

Finally always remember that good leaders are constantly growing and learning.  Take the time to read, learn what it takes to be better at leading and then go make a difference for you and your team.


AuthorCaroline Thompson