Whether we believe it or not, there are infinite platforms for leaders, it depends on the individual’s perspective to actually see it. LBA is all about realizing the opportunities presented to lead. When we utilize our ability to dream, our ability to become leaders will increase. There are few accomplishments in life that are meaningful that we can reach solely by ourselves. Think about it, where would any of us be if it weren’t for our parents, guardians, teachers, coaches, bosses, etc. It seems fairly simple but here are three easy steps to become a LEADER: (1) Find something you believe in, (2) use/develop your platform (3) lead.
You could start a list right now with potential scenarios or situations where someone could use it to take charge. Taking ‘charge’ doesn’t mean you instantly become a dictator and start instructing others what to do, unless this is your choice of leadership. It’ll work sometimes, but not everytime.
One of the most important things a Leader can do is assessing a situation. Try to gather as much information about the location, people, pros, cons, company, and school, whatever it might be! This helps us with our message and how we relay this message to those listening. How you present your message will have a lot to do with the responses that you get, or don’t.
Establishing an environment where those listening feel comfortable, responding can be difficult as well. For example, in our evening programming with students approximately aged 12-14, some students have difficulty speaking in front in their peers strictly because of the fear of being laughed at. This is why the environment is vital; it would be very hard for me to get a kid to realize his potential to become a leader if he is just laughed at every time he speaks.
The next step in becoming a leader is getting others to listen AND respond. Some will listen and won’t respond; this is perfectly fine. Maybe they are truly trying to digest the information or instructions given and will respond at a later time. Others may listen and respond with some abstract thoughts and ideas but this is good because they could bring unique perspective to the conversation. I will take either of these people over those don’t listen to the content but always have something to say or as Stephen R. Covey puts, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” (7 Habits of Highly Effective People)
Try to imagine every scenario throughout your day. Now try to imagine the times when you have the opportunity to lead. Like I said before, the opportunities are INFINITE. Leaders exist all around us, whether we choose to acknowledge them or not. Some lead just when others are watching; while some life their lives by implementing principles of leaders all the time, whether someone’s watching or not. The latter will require you to think less about your actions and just act. The choice is up to you.
One scenario where a Dictator-type approach would actually be effective are emergency situations, as they aren’t the best time for debates, so you better make sure you can trust whoever you are taking direction from. You never know when it might be time to step up and BE A LEADER!
About the Author
Jordan O’Neil Born in Iowa City, Iowa but grew up in West Branch, Iowa with one older brother. Graduated from West Branch High School in 2010. Received Associates Degree from Kirkwood Community College in 2012. After leaving home and spending one year at Johnson and Wales University in Denver, Colorado, I chose to finish my Bachelor’s Degree at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, receiving my degree in Business Administration in 2015. I spent some time volunteering for the LBA Foundation. I currently serve as the Program Supervisor for the evening programming, while also writing grants to help raise money for the Foundation. Being able to spend time with youth is very gratifying as you get to see them grow, and I get to do something I love, instruct basketball skill development. In September 2016, I became a certified in adult and pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED. On weekends, I spend my evenings bartending at Monica’s in Coralville, Iowa.