Have you watched a war movie? Remember the dramatic scene where soldiers crouch in a foxhole as bullets whiz and shells explode around them – until one gutsy person grabs a weapon, yells “Follow Me!” and charges out against the enemy!
Is that person a great leader? Perhaps. Or he might be completely nuts. It’s dangerous out there!
Real leadership comes when the second and third people respond to the challenge, grab their weapons, and follow. They are the ones who create momentum – they are the leaders that move the team to meet the challenge.
Two lessons we learn about our leadership from this scene:
1. Leadership isn’t about noise. Leadership is about a well-chosen target and creating momentum to reach that target. To be a real leader, see where smart thinkers are leading and help them create momentum to achieve that goal. Volunteer to be part of a team achieving a worthwhile goal. Even though you aren’t attracting the attention of a noisy leader, you are actually leading progress toward a well-chosen result.
2. Leadership is about people. If you’re the one about to make noise, before you charge into battle, make sure that you’ve got reliable people primed and ready to support you by creating momentum. “Yeah, let’s go!” “I’ll help!” “Great idea – let’s make it happen!” A great leader meets recruits before meeting the challenge.
Whether you’re the first or the second person to charge “out of the foxhole,” remember that leadership isn’t about the noise you make, it’s about the committed people you recruit and the worthwhile target that all of you understand and care about.