A Leader Like You

Snow Day! Central London 02/02/2009

The first year I joined the government my boss decided to bring the daily morning news clips into the 21st century.
Because everyone was so concerned about the impending change, we actually had to hold FOCUS GROUPS. 

To discuss our FEELINGS about getting THE EXACT SAME news downloaded from the Internet rather than PHYSICALLY SCISSORED from a print newspaper.

In the end the process went online. And if not for that supervisor the government would still be using taxpayer money to pay a GS-13 to waste hours of time and reams of paper shredding the Wall Street Journal and New York Times looking for news.

Do you think you are too low on the totem pole to be a leader?

Somebody else is an administrative professional. Every request gets a response, usually within 10 minutes. And a follow-up, even if the answer is no.

Every person can lead.

Yet another person I know worked at a medical facility for decades, in a non-management position. Eventually new management took over. They cut corners. My friend reported safety issues – and got fired.

Sometimes there are people who just want the power. They are happy to be leaders. But they are not the kind of people who you think should be in charge.

If you don't step up, then how can you complain?

Here's somebody else. Somebody you will never meet.

This one counsels ultra-Orthodox Jewish people about entering the workforce. She grew up poor. And she sees a poverty mindset at work in some parts of the community. I defy any lazy loafer hiding in yeshiva to ignore her finger wagging in his face.
Yet another person is a parenting coach. I wish she’d been around when mine were born.

Even if you don’t see yourself as a leader, you are.

Given all the responsibilities most people have, it’s not clear to me why they don’t see themselves as leaders. 

Maybe it's the mindset we have, the stereotypes we carry - leaders must look like "this" or sound like "that" or dress "that way."
At the end of the day those stereotypes hurt all of us.

If you can take charge of something, do it. Even if you take charge of a core group of dedicated followers.
Everyone can make a difference. The only power we really have is the power to try.
Have a good day everyone, and good luck!

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