As we prepare to celebrate the birthday of our great country, I think it fitting to take a second to remember why…because of the vision, courage and determination of some great leaders.
Being a true leader is a challenge, most are not born into it, but can learn it over time. Leadership brings with it tremendous responsibility to influence others, to sacrifice for others in order to achieve greatness for all. Those who eventually signed the Declaration of Independence took an entire nation under their wing with a desire and determination for freedom and a way of life for which so many have fought and died for, but over the past 238 years has stood the test of time.
The question though, does leadership always have to be on a grand scale? No. I am immersed right now in learning about leadership and it was a few lines I heard yesterday about leadership which brought it all home for me. The first being that even if you don’t have others to lead, in essence we are all leaders because there is at least one person who needs to be led, yourself. A leader needs to lead himself/herself first, before they can lead others. It’s difficult, nearly impossible to teach others what you don’t already possess. It’s something to think about, are you leading your life in the manner in which brings you happiness, success, and significance?
Then there is this quote from President John Quincy Adams: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
If you are living those words from President Adams then you are a leader. But it’s actions, not just words. Hearing that quote for the first time made me stop and think because it is what I am trying to accomplish every day. One of those actions involves this blog and my writing, as I try to raise up others, to teach, to share, to inspire. Words count. Words matter. The right words, spoken from the heart, can literally change lives. I know because I’m watching it happen, I’m living it. It is part of who I am and part of the gift I share with the world.
So what is it for you? What treasure inside you makes you a leader? Even if your goal is not to lead, even if you only want to follow, you still have at least one person to whom you should be held accountable when it comes to your life, that one person is you.
On the eve of yet another grand celebration of our nation’s independence, it is fitting to think about what is great about your own life, what your gift is, what it is about you that attracts others. Maybe as the fireworks light up the night sky across this nation on Independence Day, you might take a few minutes to think about your own light and what makes you different and unique from everyone else. You are the greatest guide for you and your destiny. Be sure to recognize that fact and celebrate your own independence.
You are a leader.
Happy Independence Day.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.
Mark Brodinsky, Author, Huffington Post Blogger, Financial Services
The Amazon #1 Best-Seller: It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story