So what’s holding you back from becoming a better leader? Fear. It’s always fear. Fear of giving without the promise of return. Fear of inexperience or inadequacy. Fear of sharing your vision or of what others will think if you aim for the unknown or extraordinary. Maybe even the fear of success—fear that if it all works, you’ll actually have something to lose. But love casts out fear. Let the desire to make a difference in your world transcend the fear that would otherwise hold you back. Feel the fear and act anyways. Take one step forward—just one. If you don’t, who will?
“All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: It was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.”
- John Kenneth Galbraith, Canadian economist and diplomat
What is leadership? Leadership is trust-based influence—nothing more, nothing less. Leadership is not a title, position, or popularity contest. Leadership is not the loudest voice or the most words. Leadership is the ability to impact others simply because they trust you. Leadership is listening and lifting others up. Leadership is bringing out the best of everyone you meet, every time you meet. This is why we can all be leaders, because we can all positively influence those around us. Leadership is like tea, subtly and sweetly transforming the environment around it. Be the tea.
“Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.”
- John C. Maxwell, American author and leadership guru
Leadership is about love—who you love, what you love, why you love, and how you love. Loving leadership manifests itself in many ways—from small acts of courage and kindness to inspiring speeches and defining decisions—but a common denominator remains the same: service to others. Leadership, by definition, is not about you. It’s about who you serve and how. Ditch the iron-fist, top-down leadership paradigm. True leaders are servant-leaders who live in a world of we, not me. They are selfless, self-sacrificial, and relentlessly attentive to ways they can add value to others—they lead with love.
“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.”
- Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States
This book is for anyone who wants to increase their positive impact in the world. Regardless of personality or position, you can be a leader. A leader is simply someone who wants to make a difference and decides to takes action. If that’s you, then keep reading.
What is leadership? Leadership is not grandiose—a loud voice or a showy list of accomplishments. Leadership is not an inherited trait—a pretty face or a specific chromosome. And leadership is not a right reserved for the few—those with wealth or status. To the contrary, leadership is mundane—a milieu of seemingly insignificant moments. Leadership is learned—over time and with practice. And leadership is the responsibility of the many—the more leaders the better. You possess the power of leadership, the power to impact others in a way that no one else can; therefore, you can and must become a better leader. Our world—your world—depends on it. Are you up to the challenge?
This book is also for those of you who are starving for simplicity. The superabundance of information in the 21st century can be appealing at first—but also suffocating. Therefore, the format of this book is simple: 50 tidbits of leadership wisdom, or WIZBITS, boiled down to 100 words or less. Just clear, concentrated insights about leadership and changemaking that aim to inform you, inspire you, and equip you.
So let’s get started—your world needs the positive impact only you can make.