So much of the world is uncertain and frightful right now. On any given day there is a laundry list of problems you can pick from to stress you out. There are the bigger problems like wars, racial tension and politics. Then there is the individual problems like jobs, bills and family struggles. No matter what stresses you out, it is easy to feel dispirited.
Even before the global pandemic, The World Happiness Report from 2019 reported that overall life satisfaction in the United States fell by 6% between 2007 and 2018 and has declined by more than 50% since the early 90's. We could debate forever the reasons for that as there are plenty to choose from.
However, one of the primary functions of leadership, is to focus on solutions and not problems.
The real issue at hand is that we need a leader. However, we aren't talking about a world leader or a political leader though. We need a leader that can work to solve everyone's unique challenges and problems. A leader perfectly designed to tackle all of the hardships that each of us face. That leader is you. Yes, you. Right now, today, the leader in the best position to lead you, is you and it doesn't matter if you have never led before in your life.
Anyone can be a leader
It doesn't matter where you come from, what hardships you may or may not have faced or what your last name is. Rich or poor, doctorate or GED, mansion or homeless, it doesn't matter, you can be a leader. Each situation presents unique challenges and some are harder than others but none are impossible. The real question is, will you make excuses as to why you can't be a leader or will you adopt a leadership point of view?
If you want to take control of your circumstances then start taking ownership and being a leader in your own life. Leadership doesn't have to mean leading a team, group or company. Leadership can simply be acting like a leader would act in any of the situations you find yourself in. If you aren't sure how a leader would act, read our article on leadership characteristics and habits and start practicing.
You will find that just by practicing being a leader that you will eventually grow the capacity for it. What that means, is that the more you act like a leader, the more you are a leader. The more like a leader you become, the more your situation and circumstances seem less like insurmountable problems. You can be a leader. You can start leading today and make an impact on the world around you, even if it is just by making an impact on your own life.
Why do we need leaders?
The world needs leaders because unfortunately, most people don't think like leaders. Most people think that they aren't qualified to be a leader or that because they don't have "followers" that they aren't leaders. Many people think that leaders are born and not made and this couldn't be further from the truth. As we just discussed, anyone can be leader. You just have to be willing to put in the work.
The other issue is, there are so many folks that don't take accountability for their circumstances or problems and look to others to fix them for them. Sometimes this is known as the "victim" mentality of placing blame everywhere but where it needs to be placed. More often though, it's that people don't realize they can put themselves in a position of control.
Even at times where it is genuinely not the person's fault they are in a certain situation, it is still ultimately their responsibility to do something about it. They have two choices, resign themselves to the situation or fight to change it, control it and otherwise improve their situation. That's what leaders do and that's why we need leaders.
Who will answer the call?
When the subject of leadership comes up in any way, how do you typically respond? When there is a need for a project leader at work, do you raise your hand or shy away? When there is a need for a group leader at school or your local community organization, do you become part of the wall or step forward?
As we have mentioned before, the sad reality is that most people find ways of avoiding the responsibility of the leader. Usually, it's because it is just that, a responsibility. Even worse, those that step forward are often over eager and under prepared and fail to grasp the seriousness of the role they just volunteered for.
New leaders need a lot of support and unfortunately often lack the wisdom, or simply the experience needed to succeed. However, a single brave soul with no experience willing to take up the mantle of leadership, either of others or themselves, is preferable to a 1000 followers, looking to others to answer the call.
Be the leader we need
Ghandi famously said, "be the change you want to see in the world." When it comes to the topic at hand that quote is extremely relevant. We need a leader now more than we have ever have. Not some grandiose leader from far away promising to solve all of our problems, we need everyday leaders.
Everyday leaders are otherwise everyday individuals who answer the call and do what is needed to be done simply because it needs to be done. It starts with taking a leadership role in their own life and thinking like a leader. From there, they can build their leadership abilities with others and go on to grow their leadership skill set.
If everyone in the world were to start acting like a leader, the amount of problems would decrease considerably. This isn't some pie in the sky idea and it won't solve all of the problems in the world but it would be a start. Today, we challenge you to answer the call and be the leader you wish you had.
If you are wondering where to go from here, we encourage you to join our leadership community and start engaging with other leaders. These discussion groups are a great place to learn, gain experience from and encourage other leaders, like yourself, looking to grow.
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