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The One Thing You Need to Be a Leader

What if we aren’t the leaders we think we are? Here's the only thing we need to know. via

What if we aren’t the leaders we think we are? How do we know if we have what it takes to inspire others, to challenge the status quo, and to make a difference in people’s lives?

There are a lot of people who call themselves leaders, but you and I both know they really aren’t. These pseudo-leaders (fake leaders? wanna-be’s? leaders in word but not in deed? not sure what to call them) are all around us. You know who they are. They have a title, but not a tribe. A name, but no respect.

And pseudo-leaders don’t really bother us, because the impact they are making is much less than they think, or less than they wish, and they aren’t really in the way of what we’re doing, just annoying.

BUT … the one thing they can do, is get us to question ourselves.

Because when I see a pseudo-leader and the disconnect between what he says he is and the harsh reality …

I start to wonder if I’m a pseudo-leader, too.

That would be scary. What if we aren’t the leaders we think we are? How do we know if we have what it takes to inspire others, to challenge the status quo, and to make a difference in people’s lives?

This is a question that has haunted me for years. Over a decade, if I’m going to be really honest. It has kept me up at night, haunted my dreams, and ruined my milestone celebrations. And a couple times, when people have actually voiced that concern to me, I felt like my stomach was punched out. It’s the one fear, I think, that can paralyze a leader in any capacity.

Is it worth it? Am I making a difference?

And now I have the answer. Are you ready?

There is only one thing a leader needs to lead. There is only one magic ingredient to the secret sauce, one thing that separates the girls from the women, one trait that guarantees no matter how big the mess-up, there is always hope.

A Leader is a Person of Influence.

That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.

A mother has leadership in her home so far as she can influence her spouse and children – young or old.

You change your world.

A church member has leadership in so far as she influences her fellow members for godliness and service.

A community member has leadership if she changes her block, her town, her community for good.

A business woman has leadership to the extent she influences change in her company, the business relationships they have, and the greater market they serve.

A year and a half ago, a woman I loved sent me this anonymous quote:

A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He doesn’t set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of his actions and the integrity of his intent. In the end, leaders are much like eagles… they do not flock; you find them one at a time.

The more I meditate on the influence of leadership, the more I stand in awe at the tremendous leaders I know. I have been blessed to work with some of the most talented women leaders of our day, no doubt about it. They have changed —  and continue to change —  minds and actions by their steadfast service and determination. I’m in awe.

I also have met mothers, business women, homeschoolers, and ministry leaders that have tremendous impact on the lives of thousands. It boggles my mind! They don’t have titles, or business cards, or huge social media following.

But they change lives every day.

I want to be more like them. I’m making lists of them, to pray for them and watch them, support them and emulate them. You might want to do that, too.

And add your name to the top of the list, my friend.

You are changing your world.

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