Many people think being a leader is simply “being the boss” or giving orders and having direct reports. But there is much more to leadership. We are blessed to be in a community filled with excellent leaders: leaders who take pride in this community, leaders who are willing to teach, leaders who care about others, and leaders who are ready to guide us to a better and more prosperous future. These are the types of leaders every community needs.
Leadership means being willing to take a position on an issue even if there is controversy involved. There are times when you will have to be courageous and take a stance while others waver or do not say anything at all. You have to be informed and willing to speak up when necessary, but always keep in mind how your opinion will affect others.
You cannot have a win-or-lose approach when making decisions. If you take this approach, you won’t be able to lead because you’ll be too worried about failing. You must know your limits and have a clear grasp on what you will and won’t do. Standing firm in what you believe is a difficult but necessary task. Always listen to advice, but never let someone push or persuade you into doing something outside of your character—doing something that compromises your integrity isn’t worth doing.
Being a leader means being generous with your time and your treasure. You are in this leadership position because you have something to offer, so share it with others. Get involved in civic activities or other charitable organizations that benefit your community. Whether you are working at a pancake breakfast or sitting on the steering committee for a large community development, just get involved. A true leader demonstrates by doing.
A leader has a vision that is visible to everyone, especially those closest to you. Since you are in the spotlight, make sure your family understands your stance on issues and why you are doing the things you are doing. Your actions affect them, too.
Be cautious—there are some dangers associated with being a leader. While feeling powerful and being a celebrity may be intriguing to some, if mishandled, they can become key to a leader’s demise. You should always try to keep things fresh and new and not get stuck in a regimented system. Be open to change and new ideas—just because something has always been done one way doesn’t mean it’s the only way. Don’t get bored or tired of what you are doing; otherwise, you won’t work hard to excel. Being a leader is much more than giving orders or having people listen to you. Being a leader is taking pride in yourself, your work and your community, and guiding people to do better and to be better. A good leader can make a world of difference. iBi