We often think of great leaders in terms of iconic figures who are captains of industry or heroes of war or quarterbacks of football teams. They inspire their followers and the rest of us marvel as they “lead” toward a cause or goal. They also give great speeches.
But I am coming to believe that leadership has much more humble and lonely origins. It starts with a problem, perhaps one that affects a lot of people. Most of us, when confronted with a problem, are content to suffer along, wishing someone would come up with a creative solution. Maybe it’s a crappy service or a product that has defects. Or maybe it’s a disaster or an oppressive culture.
The reason we tend to do nothing is the status quo is a powerful force that resists change. It has everything to lose. Change is hard.
The leader is the one who decides it’s no longer acceptable to remain in the status quo, if for no other reason than to change his or her personal circumstances. Sometimes others take notice and join in. That usually happens when they sense less risk.
So the leader is the one who decides there is a better way and sets about finding that way. They take on the risk and find a solution. Others then follow.
That’s what entrepreneurs do…
Read “Tribes” by Seth Godin
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