Yesterday I had the opportunity to participate in a Sprint Triathlon (a shorter version of the regular swimming, biking , and running race). But this blog isn’t about me, it’s about the two leaders I noticed and how they each chose to deal with adversity.
Leader 1: A fifteen year old kid pulling his developmentally challenged brother in a life raft behind him for 400 meters in a swimming pool while the crowd cheered them both on.
Leader 2: A racer who attempted to draft behind me during the bicycle portion of the race. Basically, using the air space I created to lay low and hide behind me so that he wouldn’t have to push himself or work as hard.
Are you a leader who believes that you don’t have to go out in front of the pack and lead. Do you believe that you can just lay low and ride on the coattails of the work that other create. Yes, it’s safe and it’s certainly easier than taking a risk and possibly being wrong or making a mistake. However it doesn’t inspire anybody!
As a leader you have to live with the consequences and results you get in your life. I guess the question you might ask yourself is … which leader do you want to be?
A fifteen year old kid who showed the world that he was willing to give his best effort regardless of his results because it was more about his brother than him? Or do you want to be more like the second person? A leader that when he looks at himself in the mirror has to own the fact that he didn’t give it his best because he feared that the results he could get on his own wouldn’t be good enough … so he cheated.
As a leader you make decisions every day. You can play it safe or you can take a risk. You can hide, stay below the radar and ride behind the work of others.
Or you can push the envelope, go out on a limb, and try something different even though there is no guarantee that you will win, be liked, be right, or be recognized. It’s your choice!
Remember that people will follow you if they trust you. If they aren’t following you it’s probably more about you than it is about them!
One last thought … extraordinary leaders inspire others … as we all stared in amazement at the courage of this young man swimming his heart out as he pulled his brother behind him, people began to say “WOW if he can do that, I can do this!”
I agreed, yes, yes I can!