228 – What Is Required To Be A Leader?

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What Is Required To Be A Leader?

Welcome to the beginning of another glorious week in your life as a man.  I think every man should be having a glorious life.  If you are not currently having a glorious life, the bad news is that it’s probably your fault.  The good news, is that every day is a brand new day, and you can be the creator of your own destiny.  As men we have the power to create, imagine, dream and innovate.  We can sculpt the world around us into what we desire through the strength of our own will.  That’s the kind of stuff we talk about here.  I am your host, and my name is Alf Herigstad.

I have a friend that I met through the medium of podcasting named Wally Carmichael.  He lives in Hawaii and he is the host of his own podcast called “Men Of Abundance”.  Wally and I are very aligned on issues that pertain to men, and I encourage you all to check out his show, there will be a link to it in the show notes as well.

The reason I’m bringing Wally and his show up is because I read something on his Facebook wall and I knew instantly that I was going to steal it and talk about it.  I let him know, but I want to be sure and give credit where credit is due.

In this post Wally was talking about the essence of leadership.  It was beautifully and accurately worded and I’m going to share it with you then talk about it for a little bit.

Wally wrote:  “Men, if you have to tell someone you’re a leader, chances are, you’re not.

Those who chose to follow you make you a leader.

You’re position does not determine if you’re a leader.

Your age or seniority does not determine if you’re a leader.

Your skills determine if you’re a leader.

Not even being a dad and a husband make you a leader.

When others choose to follow you, then you’re leader.

That is not a free ticket to start managing other people’s life.  You must remain humble in your position as a leader and continue being the man others have chosen to follow and or walk along side you.”

So that’s what he wrote.  I love this.  To me this is like poetry that doesn’t rhyme.  I think one reason this speaks so loudly to me is because during my life I have known so many men who got this completely wrong.  so called “leaders” who abused their title because they didn’t understand it.

I think some leaders are born, it just comes naturally to them and it isn’t something they asked for or even necessarily want.  I believe there are others who learn how to become leaders throughout the course of their life.  Since it can be learned and improved upon, I classify leadership as a skill.

Wally said:  Those who choose to follow you, are who makes you a leader.”  No truer words have ever been spoken.  The very important word in this sentence is “choose”.  People choose to follow a true leader, they aren’t made or coerced to follow. Lets think a minute about why any man or person would choose to follow another man. 

I know what it takes for me to follow someone.  First I would have to trust that person, he would have proven to me that he only says things he means.  His words have weight, and they would be backed up by his deeds.

Secondly, if I were to think of a man as my leader then he would have to have a great deal of confidence.  Not bravado or arrogance, but real natural confidence that was earned through his own experience.  Confidence earned through living and navigating his own mistakes.  The kind of confidence a man only displays when they truly know themselves.

Thirdly, If I were to follow this man and call him my leader then I would have seen evidence that he had genuine care for the people that followed him.  He would not wield his authority as a club, but rather as a staff that others could hang onto and be pulled forward with.  It would be obvious that he viewed his position of leadership as a position of service—as a responsibility.

The fourth thing I would expect from my leader would be competence, which is kind of a result of having the before mentioned things.  Evidence of a competent man is someone who is decisive, he takes action when he needs to.  His solutions often prove fruitful.  The implementation of his ideas benefit not only himself, but the people who chose to follow him as well. 

The last thing I would require from a leader is humility.  As Wally put it;  “You must remain humble in your position as a leader and continue being the man others have chosen to follow, or walk along side of.”  How many times have you seen leadership or authority go to someones head?  Once that happens, it’s over.  They are no longer leading at that point.  They have became entitled by the very trust and faith people have put in them.  Betrayed by their own ego, and usually at the ultimate expense of those who followed them. 

A true leader reminds himself every day of his own personal challenges and faults, and continues to make improvements in his own humanity.  In other words, a true leader is a better man today than he was yesterday, and he does that every day.

So, that’s what it would take for me to follow a man.  It might seem like a strict list, and it should be.  There are not many men who fill all of these requirements, but there have been a few.  My dad is at the top of the list.  He is a fantastic leader of mine and he’s so humble he doesn’t even realize it.  He leads almost exclusively with his own example. 

I suppose when I was younger I was more lenient when it came to what kind of man I would follow.  The bar was a bit lower because I was at an earlier stage in my own development and there was much to learn from many people.  The older I get, the more I require.  The more I expect out of anyone who would presume to be my leader.

You should ask yourself what kind of man you would follow.  Right down a list of things you would require from a leader.  When you get all done take a look at that list and then ask yourself how many of those qualities you possess.  Seriously—if you require certain traits from a leader then should’t you also possess them, so that you can be qualified to lead yourself?

A man doesn’t always have a leader to turn to, and in those times we have only ourselves.  When you think about it, before a man can lead others he should first become an effective leader for himself, shouldn’t he?

That’s all I have on this for today guys, I want you to chew on that for a couple days and I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.  You can always email me at:  alf@beingbetter.men.

Thanks to Wally Carmichael and his podcast; Men Of Abundance for the inspiration.  You should all go check him out.

Now head out into the world and wether or not you ever find yourself in a leadership position of other people, strive every day to be a good leader for yourself, that’s where it begins.  Strive to be a better man today than you were yesterday.

Hey remember to to check out my new book, Forging A Man, available right now on Amazon.

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