Bookstores are filled with books on leadership, most of which are worth exactly squat. Don't waste your money and don't fall for the sales pitch. Instead, judge a book by its cover. But not the front cover, look at the back cover.
I look at the author. I read the bio. If there is a picture that helps too. Why? I’m looking for someone who has done something with their lives. What I usually find is that this genre of books is written mostly by corporate megalomaniacs or Christian celebrities whose resume is filled with hours in meeting halls or researching in their study.
I’m sorry but I don’t want to be that kind of leader. I’m not opposed to meetings and I love to study and read but I NEVER want that to define me as a leader.
I want to be a leader of men, a field general. Someone who is not followed because of his position but because of his character.
That character is developed on the battlefield and in the trenches of life, not in the boardroom. I want the people I lead to trust me because I am there alongside them doing the hard things and I have been there for years paying the hard price to be a Godly leader.
There are two things that people are looking for when they are deciding who they want to follow: Stories & Scars.
How do you know if a leader is the real deal? They can prove it. They can tell you stories, not only about when they did it right and saved the day but also about when they did it wrong and screwed up everything. They should not be ashamed to tell either kind of story.
Most people have an idea of what they want to be. They want to be brave, adventurous and they want to impact the world around them in some significant way.
They want to follow people who demonstrate these traits in their daily lives, and they have the stories to prove it. Don’t waste your time with leaders who base their lives on theory and want to lead you down that same path.
Look for someone who inspires you to be who you dream of being.
Better yet, become that inspiration for others by getting out there and living life and doing what no one believed you could do.
But beware, there are a lot of posers out there. Anyone can tell a cool story. That does not necessarily mean that story is theirs.
Look for their scars. This is their seal of approval.
It means that they believed in something and they were willing to pay the price to demonstrate their belief.
I can’ tell you how many young men and women I have led that cut bait and went home at the first sign of difficulty.
I had one guy who went home because he wasn’t expecting mosquitos in the Amazon! What were you expecting?! Unicorns and fruit cocktail?
Few people are willing to stick it out and pay the price,
But these are the ones you want to follow,
the ones who weren’t looking for fame or notoriety,
they just believed in something, and they kept hustling and grinding until they kicked the crap out of life and everything it has thrown at them
and they walked away the victor &
they never compromised their principles in the process.
These are the men and women people genuinely want to follow, but sometimes they are afraid, and they settle for some guy with a pretty face a best-selling book and seven simple habits that will change their life.
That is a load of crap and we all know it. Real leaders have lived life and they have the stories and the scars to prove it. There are no shortcuts.
Many of the problems we have today are because we followed the gurus instead of the men who were actually qualified to lead.
Fake leaders will try to minimalize the impact of real leaders because they are intimidated by their strong personalities, and they are afraid that they will be found out as a fraud when placed in proximity to the real deal.
So be careful that you don’t mistake people who have position and power for battle-scarred leaders, they are not always the same.
Choose wisely who you decide to follow and be intentional about how you lead. That is all.
Celebrate your scars sweet soul, they are a sign you have lived beyond your suffering. --SC Lourie