Todd Shea was a drug addict and a musician living hand to mouth. One would hardly call him a leader. The tragedies of 9/11 in NYC started the shift of his addiction from cocaine to rescue efforts around the world. With no medical training or a college degree, he started a hospital in Chikar, Pakistan. For more information on Todd, you can read about him in last Thursday’s New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/25/world/asia/25kashmir.html?th&emc=th.
I highlight Todd’s story to make this point: Many people shy away from the word “Leader”… or say, “Leaders are born not made,” “I don’t possess any leadership qualities and skills.” I believe everyone has potential to be a leader and leaders are developed not born or “made.” … And the greatest way leaders are developed is by stepping up to the challenges they experience in their current job or daily lives.
When something hits your core and you have passion about it, when you want something badly enough, you will figure out all sorts of ways to make things happen – and enlist others to help you. When you listen and pay attention to the concerns of those around you and allow yourself to be effected by them, this is leadership – serving others. The next step is figuring out what you need to do to make things happen and getting people to listen and follow you. Sometimes it’s just getting out in front of the crowd. Todd saw a need and filled it. He didn’t get caught up in his head with worries such as: “I am not qualified…who am I to do this?…. what if I don’t have enough money?… what will people say?”
Passion is the cure for inertia, paralysis and disconnection from yourself or others. I invite you to identify your passion and step up to the plate to go after it – despite all the reasons not to: not educated enough, not connected enough, not enough money, not skilled enough. ENOUGH!
Leadership qualities start with GUTS. Grab the courage and you can figure out the skills along the way. Many successful people have worked this way. Oprah didn’t have a business plan.
Copyright 2009 Sage Leadership Strategies, LLC www.sagelead.com