Leadership is seeing what everyone sees, but actually doing something about it

There’s not just one definition of leadership. We can all come up with plenty of unique and useful explanations of our own. This last weekend at the Biblical Leadership Conference, I came across one that I’d like to explore further. Leadership is seeing what everyone sees, but actually doing something about it.

I just googled “best leaders in the world,” and the first one that came up was Mahatma Gandhi. Let’s use him as an example. Like everyone around him, he noticed the ill-treatment and deplorable conditions of his people. But unlike everyone around him, he did something about it. Gandhi launched the Satyagrah or the non-violence movement as a way to protest against the British rule in India.

I know that looking at the achievements of best leaders like Mahatma Gandhi seems impossible to us. It seems absurd to me. Here’s the thing though, each leader who overcame insurmountable odds started with baby steps of faith. They did the small things right, and that’s what enabled them to do the big things right.

Gandhi believed in keeping his promises. For example, he promised his mother before leaving that he would remain a vegetarian. Gandhi maintained his commitment despite the difficulty. This seemingly trivial sacrifice prepared him to be a role model of non-violence on a grander scale — especially when it appeared futile to keep his promise in the face of overpowering violence.

Leadership is seeing what everyone sees, but actually doing something about it. Start small so that you can finish big! Most important of all, start now!

What are some small things that you can take the lead on to change? How can you keep yourself accountable?


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