Are you Leading?

We hear a lot about leaders today.  Our country’s leaders, our state’s leaders, technology leaders,  business leaders. 

It seems that lately, some of our leaders may have let us down, while others are rising up, making promises, trying to get the country and the economy back on track.  Some of those promises they will keep and no matter how hard they try, some of them they will not.

Today I spend some time listening to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testify to Congress about what is needed to support our ailing financial markets and another $30 BILLION investment in AIG.  I wondered what it would be like to be “too big to fail.”

Through his remarks ran a common theme – the U.S. will be better off “moving aggressively” to solve economic problems because the alternative “could be a prolonged episode of economic stagnation.”

You don’t have to be famous to be a leader.  Each of us has that opportunity each day when we talk to someone, share an experience, pass on a lead, or just take the time to listen.  Leaders can be your teacher, your neighbor, your friend or the stranger sitting across the room at the coffee shop. Any of us can be a leader if we are willing to take the lead.

Over the years I have learned a few things about leadership and about taking the lead. 

  • You can’t keep the lead by standing still. Leaders forge forward.
  • People will not follow you if you don’t help them see what’s waiting for them at the end of the road.
  • You have to keep to your path, have faith in your sense of direction, and be willing to stand in front and take a bullet.
  • You will know you are out in front when others try to emulate what you do.  – Celebrate when what you do is valued it means you’re on the right track.
  • To keep your lead — keep innovating — or you can be left behind!
                   -Joan Koerber-Walker

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