In Order to Lead, You Must First Be Led

Some people would look at this as a controversial statement. You may think “I don’t have to be led to lead I can just get up and lead.” You are led. Every leader was led in some way shape or form.

Let’s look at a recent event if you will and how that has transpired for that leader. I’m speaking of the quarterback of the most recent Super Bowl Champion, New England Patriot’s own Tom Brady. Tom was asked a while back who the most inspirational person was in his life? His answer, his dad Tom Brady Sr.

Tom Brady was led by his dad obviously. Then he got to the University of Michigan and didn’t really knock anyone’s socks of there but did well for himself, led by the University of Michigan coach Lloyd Carr. All my Ohio friends are now throwing up. From his time at Michigan, he was able to turn that into an NFL sixth-round draft pick by the New England Patriots. Once there, he was led by one of the greatest coaches of all time, Bill Belichick. Tom Brady got his opportunity in 2001 filling in for the injured Drew Bledsoe and Wally Pipp’ed him, becoming the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots and winning a Super Bowl in his first year. Fast forward to this past year’s Super Bowl and the comeback that the Patriots made in the Super Bowl was absolutely epic. How did Tom Brady rally the troops as a rookie to win a Super Bowl, and then how did he get his teammates to dig in when they were losing late in the 3rd quarter of the Super Bowl 28-3?

Look at what Tom Brady accomplished from a leadership standpoint, specifically what it took to have the fortitude to draw men together in each of those instances.

Now, how does this apply to your business? Have you been down in sales, operations or marketing? Have staff that wants to quit? Do you want to quit? A real-world example to survive and get over that hump is to go back and re-read your past client reviews. The people who believed in you and loved you for what you created for them. Let their words wash over you and give you the motivation to push on and through the negativity, you are feeling. 

I want to give you a couple of quotes on leadership here as well.  Napoleon Hill of “Think And Grow Rich” fame wrote, “Think twice before you speak. Your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” This is especially important in today’s world of 140 characters and everyone with a camera in their pocket. Leaders plant success seeds everywhere they turn. Here’s your second quote.  “Responsibility is not given, it’s taken.” When people take ownership of their situation, they take ownership of their faults, their shortcomings, and their successes.

Responsibility rides right there in the ownership of what you have done.

I encourage you to look in the mirror, take responsibility for your lot in life, where you’re at. If you have created some awesome in your life, then take a pat on the back. If you were short with someone, make the apology. Be gracious. Be giving. Be great-ful.

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