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Shut Up or Step Up to Lead!

Have you ever read any good books on leadership? Maybe something by John Maxwell? What stands out in my mind when it comes to the information contained in these books is the technique for effective leadership. One of the biggest is leading by example.

Throughout history some of the greatest leaders were people of vision, people who saw something that others could not see and shared their vision with the masses to improve the quality of life. Never once did a leader become a great leader by being pessimistic and negative. Never has anything been accomplished of value by looking at a problem and complaining without offering a solution to the problem. In fact, a leader who only offers a negative picture remains a leader for a short time, a time when they are noticed but become irrelevant.

I talk to my teenage sons regularly about the negative influence of the media in our lives and how we must strive to overcome it. I believe that immersing ourselves in the positive we can accomplish that. A leader of people must understand that to be effective, he must give the people who follow him hope of better things. In doing so, he rises to higher levels and accomplishes great things. When he loses sight of the lofty challenge of being a positive visionary in any organization, a leader is destined to fail, for no one will follow a leader who is going over a cliff.

As you strive to develop your business or career, you should keep in mind that you can be whomever you wish to be. You can look at challenges and problems and offer real solutions and visions for the future that people can grasp onto, or you can see the problem and rub everyone's nose in it as you complain about it until no one is listening anymore.

When you have a customer and they resort to complaining, you perk up and listen to them. If you work for a company that you complain about all the time, no one listens when you complain. Complainers develop a cloak of invisibility that is only penetrated when they are seen long enough to be removed from the company. At that point, the complainer has become nothing more than an eyesore.

As we look at the so-called leaders of the day, we should keep in mind that we are not the only ones who see them. The world is watching our country and our business. As our leaders complain without offering solutions, the world sees an ugly picture of discontent and failure with no solutions at hand. Only when people realize that the role of the leader is to be the visionary, the one with the answer, will things in our world change for the better. Until then, we get what we ask for and what we vote for.

Expect great things, offer great solutions, and when you are ready for the challenge, throw your hat in the ring and step up to lead.

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