Why Aren’t You Leading?

My friend ran up to me while we were waiting to pick up our kids. “I’ve got this great idea and I know a lot of people are interested.” I listened. It was brilliant. I was ready to sign up to help. But next she shared, “Nobody’s asked me to start leading it, so why should I volunteer?” And then, “I keep hoping somebody else will step up and take the lead.” I couldn’t help but think that “somebody” was me.

Let me get this right. It’s a great idea. And you COULD do it. You WANT to do it. But you WON’T because no one has THOUGHT of asking you?

“Yeah, I’m just waiting. It would be a lot of work.”
“If you lead it, I will help you,” I offered.
She quickly changed the subject.

She was perfect for the leadership role. Her feelings were hurt, she wanted someone to invite her to lead. Not just someone. The right someone. She is still waiting. No one is leading. The effort is effortless.

“No One Asked Me”

Perhaps this is happening to you. You care deeply. Change must happen. They need you. You are qualified. You have big ideas.

  • “I’m not sure I’m ready.”
  • “I might fail”
  • “I’m scared”
  • “It’s too much work”
  • “I’m too busy”
  • “No one asked me.”

No one is going to ask you to lead.

  • It’s unlikely that the guys in the department down the hall are sitting around thinking of you for that special assignment
  • The folks at church see how much you already have on your plate and think you’re too busy
  • The PTA has no idea you have talent
  • You can see the obvious next step, what makes you sure it’s clear to others?

Leading or Losing

If you wait to be asked, it’s less likely you will have to do anything. If you don’t do it, you cannot fail. Try:

  • Starting small: offer to do the pilot, or one session
  • Co-leading: 2 heads are a great way to start
  • Submitting a proposal
  • Volunteering for a similar effort and take notes
  • ?
  • Or follow this twitter LEADER.

@LetsGrowLeaders I always was a follower but I feel with God’s help I can be a leader. Amen.

Posted in Career & Learning and tagged , , , , .

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt, Founder of Let’s Grow Leaders, helps leaders around the world achieve breakthrough results, without losing their soul. A former Verizon Wireless executive, she has over two decades of experience in sales, customer service, and HR. She was named on Inc's list of 100 Great Leadership Speakers and American Management Association's 50 Leaders to Watch. She’s the author of several books: Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates (Harper Collins Summer 2020), Winning Well: A Manager's Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul, Overcoming an Imperfect Boss, and Glowstone Peak.