Be the leader you’re looking for

I grew up like most kids, looking for a role model to help me make sense of a large and mysterious world all around me.

As I aged, I adopted a buffet style approach to character building. I took what I wanted from the available offerings, all the while trying to build a complete plate that would nourish me into maturity, purpose and happiness.

This approach had its pros and cons but led to the following two definitive conclusions:

  1. Virtue cannot be worshiped, only internalized
  2. No one can lead you where you won’t go

I never found a person who lived up to my conception of a complete role model, and eventually I stopped looking when politicians, professionals and parents all fell short.

Back then my youthful longing for a role model had re-emerged, but at that point the journey was no longer external, it was a homecoming.

I was learning that I was the only leader I’d ever follow.

Here’s the general process that led to this conclusion:

  1. Care for yourself – this strengthens your foundation; nurture physical, emotional, spiritual and mental health
  2. Practice taking small risks – this is how you both build up and out from the foundation
  3. Take a big risk – learn what works and get rid of the rest
  4. Repeat 1-3 until the mirror smiles back at you – what’s left is what works; define it, commit to it
  5. Be the leader you’re looking for – no one else can fill that void for you

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