Leadership Starts at the Bottom

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“A leader is someone who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way” ~ John Maxwell

I hope all my readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving with their loved ones. I know I did. While visiting my in-laws I observed leadership in action. No it wasn’t some elected official pontificating on TV, nor was it some football player during one of the numerous football games played this past weekend. No the leadership I saw displayed was by various members of my family. There was no big press conference, no fireworks, no “look at me moment”. No the leadership that I saw displayed was very quiet and done in an attitude of service.

I’m sure you probably observed it as well. Let me explain. My wife, Chris’, family has big gathering. All the kids and grandkids come over and Dad puts on a big turkey dinner with all the trimmings. He does most of the cooking up until recently because Mom is almost blind. Over the last couple of years we have observed that Dad’s health is not what it used to be so to get him to slow down some, the rest of us have jumped in. No, we didn’t wait for an invitation because Dad is not one to ask for help. He’s an old school conservative (the good kind) that believes that one should shoulder his own responsibilities. It’s not a pride thing; it’s an independence thing.

Anyway, we kids (most of us are in our fifties) have begun pitching in with various tasks during the four days so that Dad can take a break and watch his favorite teams. It’s done quietly and without fanfare as we just jump in and take up the slack. The girls helped with Mom, Tim jumped in and cleaned up after the Thanksgiving Meal. We all went and fetched this and that as people needed things. I even cooked breakfast and one of the evening meals to help.

So how is this leadership you ask. Well, leadership and service cannot be separated. One compliments and completes the other. Leadership doesn’t have to be elected or appointed in fact all it is, is a state of mind. Leadership doesn’t have to be from the bottom up but, now in this time of uncertainty, must be from the bottom up. Be in a mindset of service and you will be looking for ways to serve your fellow man. Act on those and you become a leader who will have others following your example. The process then multiplies and the little action you started becomes a vast influence in our lives.

We the people can lead our family, our community, our country into the next era of prosperity and ease. It’s up to us, the little people, to lead the rest. We do that by looking for ways to serve one another daily whether that be our neighbors or our customers we need to replace the motivation of what’s in it for me with how can I serve you. In doing so we set a good example not a greedy one. That, my friend, is what’s really wrong with America right now. Most of our political, corporate, and yes I dare say religious leaders have gone the way of being self-serving. They have forgotten how to give to others without anticipation of receiving. We can no longer wait for them to lead us. Now is the time for us to get the ball rolling.

I guess you can sum it up in just a few words: Take care of others and they’ll take care of you. Try it. It just might change the world.


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