Are you really a leader?

 “Leaders line up!” Our Company Gunny had all the Corporals in our Infantry Company line up shoulder to shoulder facing the tree line. “Marines go stand behind the leader you would follow if you had a choice.”

This was a humbling experience. We didn’t know what to expect before we were allowed to turn around. More importantly - it created serious internal questions:  “WHY would someone follow me? Would I follow me?”

I was disappointed with the number behind me and not surprised by the couple of Corporals that had a good contingent behind them.

This is when it all changed for me. This is when I began to understand leadership. This is when I realized being in a position to lead, not manage, was one of the most important tasks you could ever undertake.

In my last position so many people said “I wish I worked for you instead of ...” I’m sure this happens to many of us, but I would always ask them why. It’s not about flattery, but clearly they were missing something and no matter what we could learn from the conversation.

So if you currently lead in any capacity - ask yourself “Would anyone choose to get behind me?” If not, contemplate who they would. Whatever the reasons are, you might just take something away from that.

Don’t go through the motions. Get better. Be better.

Stubaier Trail, Austria.     

Stubaier Trail, Austria.