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10 Things You Do Not Know About Leadership #3

Welcome to the third installment of the 10 Things You Do Not Know About Leadership. In this weekly, series I cover topics that tend to be overlooked, forgotten, or completely misunderstood. By sharing with you, it is my hope and belief that I help in eradicating many of misconceptions that come with leadership.


Like anything in life MISTAKES will be made. No one is perfect and you will make mistakes. Consider making mistakes part of life. Making mistakes should be anticipated and expected. Plain and simple, a leader that does not make mistakes is playing it cautiously and carefully.

A leader that plays cautiously and carefully is NOT a leader. Leaders should have a level of caution and carefulness but NOT to the point of never committing a mistake. Playing it safe is NOT how leaders grow and learn. Playing it safe means the individual is scared, fearful and not ready to take command.

Playing it safe is NOT what leading is all about. Of course, you have a duty to keep your team safe from harm, however, if all you do is play it safe, how will your team know to go with their gut, trust their instincts, or take a chance? Folks, if you are not prepared to take chances and make mistakes along the way, then you are NOT prepared to lead. Still hesitant? Just know that no matter what; every decision you make will not always be the right one.

Leaders, making mistakes and learning from those mistakes is the number one way to gain experience. Gaining Experience is the one thing that ALL leaders must do and have. It is through gaining and having experience that TRUE & AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP is born and Great Leaders are made. NO TEXTBOOK will ever replace experiencing the ups and downs of being a leader.

Remember, no one ever became a Great Leader by having the minimum amount of experience. Get out there, get your hands dirty, jump into the trenches, dig foxholes, chop wood, carry water, get some REAL-WORLD experience because nothing is automatic. It is earned.

Greatness in leadership comes from doing what must be done especially if no one wants to do it. Great Leaders are born in the muck and mud. They are born when sweat and tears are the norm and not the exception. Great Leaders will lead from the front and not from behind a desk. Great Leaders rarely spend time behind a desk but most certainly spend time out among their troops.

Great Leaders are out on the front-lines. They are well aware that they do not HAVE to be out there but they go anyway. They go not only to see, firsthand, how the battle is going but they go so that the people out on the front-lines know their leader is there and not behind the watchful eye of a gatekeeper or two.

While gatekeepers serve a purpose, they are also a catalyst towards making mistakes. Mistakes that will prove costly to the leader. The comfort and safety that comes with having gatekeepers is what will lead to misunderstandings and miscommunication between the leader and those they lead. Folks, when it comes to misunderstanding and miscommunication, leaders may never truly recover from such mistakes.

Leaders be very careful when it comes to depending too much on your gatekeepers as they will, without hesitation and on your behalf, create climates and environments that will be at most unrecoverable. So, please proceed with caution but don’t be too cautious or too careful that nothing great ever happens.

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Thank you for your time and please come back next week for the 4th thing of the 10 Things You Did Not Know About Leadership.