Let’s be honest. Leadership is an attractive subject to many. I talk with so many younger people, and some my age, who want to be in leadership. They may feel they’ve been passed up, haven’t been given their chance (or second chance) or sometimes they are patiently (or not so patiently) waiting.
I understand. If you are prone to leadership, or have your eye on being a leader, nothing quite satisfies you until you get to do what you think you’re ready to do.
But, in my observation, there may be some common reasons you aren’t yet leading. Perhaps understanding them can help you, if you’re in that situation. I’ll follow each one with my advice.
Here are the five reasons I have observed for why people aren’t yet leading:
1. You don’t have anything or anyone to lead.
You say you would lead if someone gave you an opportunity.
My advice: Find something to lead! The world is full of problems. Choose one of them you are most passionate about and start leading. Motivate people toward finding or working a solution. Lead. We need you.
2. You are afraid.
You really want to lead, but you fear you may not have what it takes.
My advice: Get over it. Pray hard, lean on God strong, but lead. That’s what leaders do. Leading takes people into the unknown. It’s natural to be afraid. Be willing to walk by faith.
3. You gave up.
You tried leading and it was hard. You got hurt. Perhaps you failed. So you quit.
My advice: Get up and try again. The best leaders have failed many times, perhaps more times than they have succeeded. That’s what makes them a success. That they tried again and again until something stuck. Get back in the game. You’ll motivate us by your return.
4. You don’t think you know how.
You don’t think you ever learned the secrets of leadership. You have more questions than answers. You’re waiting until you have more answers than questions.
My advice: Join the school of leadership. Leaders are all around you. And they are still learning too. The best never quit learning. So join in. Watch, listen, read, ask questions. It’s what we do. You can learn skills of leadership if you are teachable. The best leaders are still figuring it out daily.
5. You think you don’t have authority to lead.
You feel you are in a stifling environment. No one is looking to you to lead them.
My advice: Either learn to “lead up”—influencing people that are supposed to lead you—or find a place that values your input. The world is changing, and the newest and healthiest environments allow people to grow in leadership. Or learn to lead within your own context. If you’re in a ministry, lead volunteers the best you know how. Be the best where you are today. Or find a cause outside your work environment—and be a leader there. The experience will shape you for future assignments.
Just a few thoughts. But here’s a final one. If you feel you’re supposed to be a leader—and you’re currently not—no more excuses. Lead. That’s what leaders do.