Relevant Magazine has been a go-to site of mine for years, and one post in particual caught my attention. I read the post and got enough out of it I thought I’d share a few of his points. The writer of the post said there are are five traits of innovative leaders and the first was that they learn to follow first. Not to come across as a college writer crafting a paper (it is summer so I’ll try to get away from that feel!) but I have to say I agreed with his point. If a leader can’t follow he/she probably should not be in a position of leadership. By this I do not mean “follow the crowd” or bend under any pressure to change a course of action, but rather to follow those who are a little farther down the road and in respected leadership.
The second point was to find a mentor. No matter the stage of life we are at, learning should never cease. Right now for me that comes through learning from my parents, other adults I trust and respect and that have proved taking the right actions steps pay off, and reading first-hand stories of people that are closer to where I want to be. “Doing life” with those who are older and more mature than I am opens my eyes to different and better ways of accomplishing my goals in life. Numerous times a month I try to purposefully spend time with those who have matured through making right decisions and learn from their leadership.
An innovative leader finishes what they start, Relevant stated. This may seem obvious to some, but its importance should not be diminished. Whether its finishing that degree I know I need to claim, completing my workout routine when I just want to quit, or even working through the last chapters of a book I’ve been working through for what seems like forever, finishing what is begun is a habit that’s important to form. Finishing what is started is also biblical. God promises to complete what He has started in us and for that I am more than thankful!
“Decide who you want to be and act accordingly.” This was perhaps one of the points that stuck out to me the most. It seems that being “true to self” and the fad to “be yourself” has not only gone overboard but also been engrained into our young minds. I was recently watching an interview with a celebrity’s parents, who said they were just so happy their daughter had remained “true to herself.” That’s a great thing to say about someone. But it means they haven’t changed.
I used to think pretending to be something I wasn’t was dishonest in a way. After all, I was no longer being “true to myself,” right? But just like good habits, sometimes actions have to be forced and coerced. This is not a bad thing, it simply means we are working to become the person we one day hope to be.
When I look back on my life one day and notice what I've struggled to accomplish I don't want to see a string of actions that ended in my being at the same place I started. Rather, I hope to one day look back and see an uphill struggle, paved with God's grace. A struggle I took not to be true to myself, but to be true to my God, and a struggle to lead others to do the same.