Society tells us both in social and in monetary terms that it wishes us to be leaders. The higher up you are in the social pyramid the more people you theoretically have following you and depending on you to show them the golden path to success.
Perhaps you are striving for a higher position within your company or just looking to be that person that all your friends turn to for advice and guidance but in any case did you ever ask yourself:
What kind of person do I myself idolize and follow?
Is it someone who made it despite all the odds?
Is it an engineer or inventor who blew everyone away with his ideas?
Is it a person who can sell ice to Eskimos?
Is it someone who knows how to play the game?
I, personally am a great fan of the doers. I always found that talk is cheap and that is your actions that show your true colors.
The easiest example is the manager who complains to his staff that the toilets is dirty but would never get his hands dirty and do it himself. Perhaps he/she will justify this by proclaiming that “when I was young” and go on about how much hard work they had to do when they were just hired hoping that this will convince one or two or their staff to do the work for them.
I believe that leading means doing. You can not tell someone to do something that it is obvious that you would never do yourself.
If the toilet is dirty, clean it. Don’t complain about it, just do it. Your actions will raise you in the eyes of those that follow and if you are lucky one or two might offer to help you.
When you have shown the way once or twice perhaps someone will even take the initiative and do it for you.
If after a few times they forget re-enforce by showing again.
Leadership is sacrifice and the sooner you realize this the better a leader you will be!