As I prepare for our first ever online leadership course that begins in a few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about leadership and what it takes to be a leader.
Here at FORTE we say to be a leader you must have two things: a destination and a following. Meaning, if you aren’t going anywhere, there’s no reason for people to follow. Likewise, if you are heading somewhere, and no one cares, you aren’t a leader either.
There are several ways to engender a following, many of which we’ll discuss in the class. But this past week, I hit upon one very simple and enormously effective ingredient that, when coupled with other leadership qualities, has the power to catapult you to the top of your field.
This week I was in Minnesota where I was invited to speak at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Months ago I was perusing the NCSL website when I saw that one of my fellow speakers was Sir Ken Robinson. Sir Robinson is a personal hero of mine. He holds the distinction of having one of the most watched TED talks in history, and is an incredible speaker. He often speaks on education and creativity, but this man could talk about the tax code and I would be first in line to hear him speak.
Which, as it turns out, I was. Kevin and I flew in early just to hear Sir Robinson’s presentation and were one of the first people in the auditorium. When he finally made his way on stage, the first words out of his mouth were a joke about his limp and the crowd roared. I could barely contain my excitement. I had to meet him.
We waited afterwards to see if he would greet the audience, but he never appeared. So we walked to the back of the auditorium to see if he would come out that way. No sign of him. We walked back to the front of the auditorium to check one more time when I saw him slowly making his way up the ramp, entourage in tow. I boldly stepped forward and began to tell him how much of a fan I was when Continue reading: “Want to make it big? Do this one thing…”