sometimes astonished to find out which people don't
consider themselves to be leaders. I know people who
are wonderful role models of honesty, courtesy, love and
compassion, but who don't think that they have any effect
on others at all. I know teachers who can get kids
to do anything they want, but they separate the term
"teacher" from "leader," and they
don't see themselves as being leaders. The simple
fact is that we all have the potential to be leaders,
whether we're leading people to think differently by
sharing a different perspective or do something
differently or better by teaching them, showing them, or
guiding them--or all three.
Most of us learn to be followers, because we tend to put
our leaders up on pedestals that we think we never can
climb up. We think that they have gifts that we
don't have, and the they have abilities that we
lack. When we see ourselves in their place, we just
know that people would argue with us, cut us down, and
make the job of leadership impossible. But it
certainly is not impossible for any of us.
Part of the question we have to ask ourselves is just whom
shall we lead? I led college students through
writing and literature courses for 15 years; now I lead
high school students through different courses.
Parents lead their children through learning and
self-discovery and lessons on how to deal with others and
how to help and be compassionate. In an office, one
person can lead his or her peers to feel better every day
by sharing important thoughts, photos, or even a snack or
a kind greeting or words of encouragement. Leaders
don't necessarily tell people what to do--leaders inspire
and teach and share.
"Dream more, learn more, do more, and become
more." What a beautiful thought. And what
a beautiful set of circumstances to which we can make a
definite and powerful contribution, as long as we really
do see ourselves as leaders and take that role seriously.