What Makes a Leader a Leader?


by Don Smith

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Why are some people considered leaders and others not? I can tell you in two words.

What makes a leader a leader?

Leaders Lead!

There have been volumes written about qualities of great leaders. One of the best, in my opinion, is The Five Levels of Leadership by John Maxwell. If you want to be a leader, I encourage you to pick up a copy of that book and read it.

Ultimately though, it all boils down to taking the initiative, to leading. If you want to be a leader, you have to step up and initiate; you can not sit around waiting for someone else to tell you what to do. Leaders step up and say we're doing this, and then they do it or work with a team and make sure specific people are assigned to get it done. They take the lead!

That's Not My Job

This reminds me of a great story called That's Not My Job.

This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.

If You Are a Leader, You Are Somebody

A leader steps up and initiates the process to make sure the job gets done when it is important, and somebody needs to do it. Let's rewrite that story using I/me/myself in place of somebody, because if you want to be a leader, that means you are somebody!

The Leader AKA Somebody

This is a story about four people named Everybody, Me, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that I would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. I got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Me when Nobody did what Anybody could have.

If you want to be a leader, realize YOU ARE SOMEBODY and Step Up!

About the Author 

Don Smith

Happily married with five kids, Smith owns a technology company, is the founder of this site, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and loves playing soccer, hiking, and mentoring.

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