You can wait your entire life to be chosen by someone else to fill a role, hold a title, or sit at the end of a boardroom table. Or you can choose yourself. When I was 18, I was a sports broadcaster in one of the most competitive markets in the country. I wasn’t there just because I was talented. I was in that seat because I wanted it, and I took the initiative to make it a reality.
I can safely say that more people like to talk a big game when it comes to change than to do the work necessary to make the change real. The most important test of a leader’s resolve is if he or she is willing to act on their ideas. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had to build the Apple 2. Oprah Winfrey took the risk of getting on TV. Billy Graham had to preach to a small group before he stood before thousands. None of them were great until they took action.
Any Old Excuse Will Do
There will always be an excuse within reach. And there will always be someone around you willing to confirm your excuse as valid:
· “I don’t have enough money.”
· “I don’t have the right education.”
· “I don’t know the right people.”
· “I don’t live in the right city.”
Excuses are really ways in which people let themselves off the hook for the responsibility they should act. If divine design is true, then you have a purpose you must fulfill in the world. And that purpose is unique and specific to you. If you don’t make good on that purpose, you will miss out on the adventure that was intended to be yours.
Here are Five Ways You Can Start Leading Today
1. Take a stand. Don’t wait for someone else to give you permission to lead. Act today.
2. Learn how to be a great beginner. The risk as you grow and learn is you stop approaching life with the insatiable curiosity that allows you to see what isn’t true yet but should be.
3. Take the risk. No leader ever feels fully prepared for what is ahead. If you did, you wouldn’t be leading.
4. Commit to the outcome, not the process. The process will guide you, but don’t let it overshadow the outcome you want to achieve or the goal you want to accomplish.
5. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Don’t expect to get it right the first time—or even the second or third time. Just don’t stop moving forward.
None of the things listed above are out of your reach. The only thing keeping you back from leading right now is you. It’s time for you to decide: Will you let the doubts, questions, and hesitations hold you back from becoming the leader you want to be? Leadership is available to everyone. The only caveat is you must say yes.