Do you remember playing the game “Follow The Leader” in kindergarten? The greatest joy was being the leader, right? The best day of the week or month in first grade was undoubtedly the day you were “Line Leader,” leading your classmates down the hallway to the library and the lunchroom. You can probably still feel a glimmer of that pride and picture that genuine smile on your face.
What happened to that enthusiasm, energy, and excitement you felt, at the age of 7, when you were gifted the title “leader”?
These days, many adults and professionals shy away from the title. How much extra work will it involve? What if I make a decision that has a negative result? What will others think of me? What if I fail?
It is easier, it seems, to follow someone else. Let others charter unexplored territory first; let others make the tough decisions & carry the weight- and possibly the burden- of the results. Let others take on the extra responsibilities and work.
Yes, it is true that it’s often easier to follow – or copy – others. It is a challenge to build your own road map. But as a small business owner, and especially for those who are solopreneurs, a shift in your definition of “leader” [and the feelings that the title stirs within] is a must.
Most entrepreneurs chose to leave Corporate America and Big Business to pursue a dream/passion, to experience independence, to find like-minded individuals who “get it”. Those like-minded individuals are your Tribe! If you have been following our blog, you now understand that Tribes are key to the success of your business. And according to Seth Godin, tribes are looking for leaders. People like doing what other people are doing; they like to fit in and find their own groups. They want to follow and let others lead!
Bill George states so beautifully in his book True North, “We frequently choose leaders for their charisma instead of their character, their style rather than substance, and their image instead of integrity.”
Do you believe in your character, substance and integrity? Then be the change, create the roadmap, and assume the energy, excitement and enthusiasm of your 7-year-old self…Lead!