Leadership is not about the right attributes; it is about the right action!
I just returned from a weekend retreat hosted by our local Chamber of Commerce. The retreat was the start of a yearlong program with a mission of fostering future community leaders. The program requires an application process, a formal interview and tuition, of which 25% must be from the participant’s personal finances. The program starts with a three-day retreat in the mountains and continues with the commitment to attend a scheduled day per month. Each of those days is spent with leaders in their respective areas such as, public safety, healthcare, government, art, culture, community service, education, economic development and more. The class is also required to complete a project in one of the areas mentioned above, as a capstone to the program.
We spent time during the retreat, reviewing all the various intrinsic qualities that define “good” leadership. We discussed qualities such as, integrity, vision and passion. We also talked about the importance of motivating people, building cohesion, listening and determination. We covered many more. Yet, as I looked around the room at my other 25 classmates, it was not on these attributes that my mind settled. Rather, here was a room full of people from a wide array of fields. We had members of law enforcement, banking, healthcare, non-profit, agribusiness, retail and other sectors, all at various stages of their careers. Some, had years of leadership experience, others had none. There were individuals that exhibited strong command presence and others with a more demure outward appearance. What my mind settled on, was that regardless of what attributes each possessed or hoped to develop, that without action there would be no leadership.
These individuals took action and made a commitment to lead. We will all be flawed leaders. We will enjoy our share of successes as well as failures and hopefully we will all help to better our community. You see attributes are like tools in a toolbox. Even the best tools are useless if they just sit on the shelf in the garage. You have to take the tools to the problem in order to put them to use and that requires action.
The key to leadership is taking the needed action to become a leader. Without action, all your tools are useless.
Thanks for reading.