Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Leaders Lead

I have come to see that leaders are not made. They emerge. They make themselves. They carry the spark of commitment, see what needs to be done, and they do it. These are rare people. In one area of my life, two people have emerged as amazing leaders. They are a joy to work with because they do not need to be reminded of what needs to be done. They often are ahead of me! Having two such amazing partners has caused me to assume I would find the same thing in other groups I am in. This has not been the case and it has been puzzling, and at times frustrating.

One can hand the reins to another, but it is up to that person to drive the carriage. Some will hand the reins back without a word. Others drop them. Others pretend they didn't get them, or notice the reins and think it has nothing to do with them. When a decision needs to be made to go right or left, they do not respond, or they respond with a lot of words that do not amount to a decision. The carriage wanders off track, gets stuck, or lost, unless someone intervenes.

In situations like that, I have learned to keep the reins rather than open myself to disappointment. I've learned that it really is appropriate to make my own plans and decisions, and release my expectations of others. It saves me from frustration and them from being asked by me to give something they cannot give. And while I continue to drive the carriage, I know that somewhere, down the road, someone will be waiting to climb on with me. They will not have to be cajoled into taking the reins. They will simply do so, because leaders lead.

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