Why is it that we all want a silver bullet to “great leadership” and yet miss all the little things that add up to really good leadership? Have we bought into a false concept of greatness thrust upon us by leadership gurus with lots of books and dvd’s to sell us? What ever happened to being a really good leader?
Cynicism aside, it just may be that the greatest leaders will never be recognized as such. The moms who mop up milk every day and the school principals who lead and protect their teachers and students while instilling small, but constant lessons in their children lay a foundation for leadership that could never be minimized.
If you’re like me, it’s easy to bog down between the dreaming and the coming true.
I’ve read dozens of leadership books, watched lots of leadership dvd’s, and attended many leadership conferences. It’s been hard for me to see the success of others without comparing myself to them and feeling that I will always fail to be as successful as they are. The gap between where I was and where they were seemed like the Grand Canyon. I felt that I could never do what they did. I would mentally shut down. It’s been a discipline I’ve had to exercise to not give up altogether.
As I look back over my years of leading others, I see that not one of those books, dvd’s, and experiences changed my ability and effectiveness immediately. What I do see is that each one added something, however small, that helped me to become better. Maybe I didn’t become “great” in that split second, but I somehow got better. Better is a great step to becoming great. There’s no magic bullet. It’s a process.
So, today I choose to believe that the small steps I’m taking to become better will eventually add up to me becoming great. Maybe I’m just a good leader today, but I can put one foot in front of another, day by day. I can keep doing the things I know are right and good, keeping myself on the track towards greatness, and eventually, hopefully, get there.