Read Patrick Snow’s latest blog post:
Lessons on Becoming the Leader
Sunday night after sitting for both Saturday and all day Sunday without making a single sale, Kaika was getting even more discouraged about the possibility of his business being successful. He was encouraged about being selected as baseball team captain, but he had lots of questions about this role, especially because he had never been a leader before.
As he rode his bike home along the Hana Highway heading toward Wailuku, he noticed hundreds and hundreds of people standing in line attempting to enter the War Memorial Gymnasium.
There were also hundreds of cars searching for parking spots, and it appeared that all the spots had been taken. Kaika’s curiosity got the better of him so he locked up his bike against the fence and wandered over to see what the event was all about.
Kaika had no plans that night so he too got in line to find out why everyone was waiting. As he joined the line, he asked the guy in front of him, “What are all these people doing out here waiting in line?”
The gentleman in front of him replied, “Nick, the famous inspirational speaker from Australia, is speaking tonight inside the gymnasium, and it is pretty obvious that none of us is going to make it into the event since the lines are just not moving. Nick was born with no arms and no legs, and his videos are all over the Internet.”
Kaika responded, “Well why are you here to hear him speak? What can you learn from such a speaker? And what is your name and where are you from?”
The gentleman replied, “My name is John and I am from California. I too am a speaker, and author, and a leadership guru. I am here in Maui hosting a Leadership retreat this week and just happened to see a flyer at the Down to Earth grocery store the other day featuring Nick, so I wanted to come out and see another speaker perform his craft and learn more of his story about the challenges of being born without arms or legs.”
Becoming an effective leader…
The line continued to be stagnant with no one moving an inch forward toward the entrance. Kaika replied, “What is a leadership guru?”
John replied, “I help people and organizations maximize their leadership potential so they can get better results in both work and life.” Kaika asked, “Does being selected captain of your baseball team count as being a leader?”
John replied, “Yes, of course; being selected captain of your team is quite an impressive recognition, but it also comes with great responsibilities. You should be very proud and take this role seriously.”
Kaika replied, “How then can I become a better leader and get my teammates to follow me? What advice can you give me on the subject of leadership?” John replied, ” My best advice for becoming a great leader is to understand and live by this mantra:
“The key to becoming an effective leader is not to focus on making other people follow, but on making yourself the kind of person they want to follow.”
Kaika responded, “I am working very hard this summer on being a better person, and on starting a business to raise money for my baseball team’s trip to California. So I will use your advice in leading our team.”
Just as Kaika finished his sentence, everyone in the line quickly ran over to the yard area beside the gymnasium where it appeared Nick was addressing the eager audience.
As a result, Kaika did not get a chance to thank John properly or say goodbye to him. However, John’s wisdom was priceless, and Kaika was for sure going to write that quote in his journal.
Furthermore, John’s advice must have hit home because that night when Kaika went to bed he tossed and turned and couldn’t sleep.
So he got out of bed and found a book on the family bookshelf about the “leadership” styles of all the past United States’ Presidents.
Not only did he read most of the book, but he quickly decided that John F. Kennedy was his favorite president because he was such a passionate and memorable speaker. He was also impressed that JFK was one of the youngest presidents ever elected to office.
He was so intrigued that he wondered whether many of the U.S. Presidents had been elected as captains of their football teams when they were kids.
How can you be a better leader?
After reading this experience in Kaika’s life, pinpoint five things can you do to grow as a person and become a better leader so you will encourage more people to want to follow you?
As a Motivational Keynote Speaker, I can speak on this subject or adapt my subject to your audience.