Leadership Starts from Me
Recently, I was watching a cartoon on TV, (oh yes I watch too) there was a kingdom and in that kingdom there lived several people obviously but there were this particularly happy children.
They lived in their tree house which they built and cherished so much (I mentioned it was a cartoon). After the long day of play and work they would dream of their tree house where they could rest and meet up with their friends and family.
Then one day while they were playing, they heard a loud sound of someone trying to cut down the tree, they ran out to see who it was and lo, it was the king’s worker.
The king had ordered a road to be made on that path and the tree happened to be a hindrance, so without delay he thought the best way to carry out the Kings order was to cut down the tree, after all they are just children and the king has spoken.
They rejected and fought that the tree was more than just a tree to them, it was their home. They did this to everyone the king sent, till the king came himself to see what was delaying his road project, he saw the tree and ordered it cut down.
Again, the children protested and the king was amazed on seeing them, they greeted the king politely and asked He spare their home, the king was furious at his workers for not explaining the cause of the delay.
He ordered for the royal pencil (yes! There’s a royal pencil) and immediately drew another plan that would have the road construction follow through another path that would not affect the tree house or any other house.
How easy was that, putting the people first. And like most cartoons, they all lived happily ever after.
If you ask me, isn’t that what leadership is about, putting the people first. Leadership is not about the leader, it’s about the people. You’re there for the people, you’re there to serve.
It was John Maxwell that said if service is above you, then leadership is below you. You are not fit to lead.
That hasn’t been the case, times without number we can point fingers at the faults of leaders and leadership in our country, at our work place, in our home everywhere, someone seem to always be at fault for something not done right.
It’s easy to shift the blame to someone else and forget that we’re first leaders of our life, and thus it is demanded of us to first lead ourselves.
Andrew Carnegie said “there is no use whatsoever trying to help someone who cannot help himself”. You cannot push anyone up a ladder if he is not willing to climb himself.
But if we can do any of the two Things, we would go a long way in solving leadership issue in Nigeria, in our home, at work etc
Stand up: stand up and start a revolution, Mahatma Gandhi, regarded as the father of India started a revolution after his visit to South Africa and saw oppression there.
He was studying to become a barrister and from a wealthy family, but he was not comfortable with what he saw and he stood up for action and helped the people of India gain their independence.
I’m not saying you should be Gandhi but look at where you are and change something you don’t like. You don’t like the way something is done, change it. Don’t offer complaints service, offer action service.
“Progress can happen only when someone assumes a leadership role- when someone decides there is a problem, a need or an injustice and takes action to solve the problem, fulfill the need or correct the injustice.”
Sit down: Don’t be the problem people are trying to solve. If you can’t solve the problem, at least don’t be the problem yourself. Don’t be the one disobeying rules or littering the floor. Don’t be a cheat in your office, don’t be the one changing figures, don’t be the one hiding crime.
Doing the right thing without been scolded to do it, or punished to do it is the first level of leadership.
It is not enough to point at the wrongs of our leaders, for we are first leaders of our own life.
LIVE .LOVE .SERVE
Today’s challenge: Take someone out for Lunch/Dinner
Author: Victor Adeyemo
Victor Adeyemo is a Leadership and high performance coach, an Event decorator and MC. He is the team leader of Leaders Digest