Good leadership is an uncommon experience.

It’s uncommon because it’s not easy, and few people expect it of anyone. Collective effort, where no one directs the troupe, often trumps the election of a leader. Oftentimes our group efforts devolve into a stalled, chaotic river of ideas, and no action.

And action nurtures growth, development.

It moves the group forward.

So we need leaders, men and women that will tame the chaos and anchor us to the target.

We need that election, that selection, of someone to steer the effort, identify the minute objectives that form progress and lead to accomplishment.
But leadership puts a person in a uniquely vulnerable position: he or she must answer to the collective and navigate areas as treacherous as emotions, individual personalities, and physical disadvantages.

And so I don’t think it’s strange that leadership is this uncommon experience.
It’s a rare human who holds the merit and experience to wade through the emotions, individual personalities, and physical disadvantages of the team, guiding that imperfect group—though well-prepared they may be—toward a difficult objective.

And so leadership is hard, uncommon.

But it needn’t be.

Every single person who sets an objective as an individual within a group has the opportunity to be a leader.

It doesn’t matter how low your command, or job, or sole responsibility is.
When you see that command, job, or responsibility in the light of the team’s objective, when you can visualize your team atop the podium or mountain, your small responsibility becomes paramount.

No matter your assignment, no matter your responsibility, leadership is at your fingertips.

And that personal adventure—adopting leadership—is worth every discomfort it will take to reach the goal.

When others see the discomfort you are eager to take on, the patience you apply to every obstacle, and the fire in your spirit to see the thing through, their own discomfort becomes purposeful, their patience
balloons, and you light a wildfire through the team.

This isn’t a fictional tale, a feel-good story. It’s functional.

No matter your assignment, your responsibility, you have the absolute power to give discomfort purpose, inspire patience, and ignite enthusiasm in the people around you.

That’s leadership.

It’s suffering for the team’s objective, embracing novel challenges that arise, and putting effort behind every word and action.

That’s leadership.

And you don’t have to be in charge to practice it.
But it needs to be practiced, top to bottom.

Don’t groan and scoff at the inopportune and mundane. Practice perfection.
Don’t deride and complain about the weakness and lack in others. Stand tall.
Don’t lower your efforts to the level of your responsibility. Build merit.
That uncommon experience—put into action by you—might save your team from failure, implosion, and destruction. It is a compass not in the pocket of the designated man or woman at the front, but in the hands of every team member who says “Let’s carry this weight. Let’s cross this bridge. Let’s get up this

It’s merit for the sake of the group, effort without compromise, and a practice you and I must engage in regularly.

It’s a level-headed, eyes-forward, step-after-step mentality that negates flaw and

It’s not easy, and it’s not supposed to be.

Adopt this uncommon trait, this noble practice, for the ascension of your team.
Light a fire in someone else.

That’s leadership.

1 comment

  • Brian

    This is a great read. Leadership is often over looked and like you said, it is an uncommon trait. This message is another reason why I wear NFQ daily. Always pushing to become a better leader! Thank you

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