Leading the pack from behind

I will never forget this…

It’s March 2007 and I’m attending my first Toastmasters speech contest. I don’t know a single soul. I get to the building and there’s a guy dressed casually, dapper, with a big smile, semi-nasal voice and thin-rimmed glasses directing traffic.

“It’s not this building. It’s two buildings that way,” he instructed.

“Okay, boss,” I replied.

As I park the car, I think that Mr. Traffic Police should not be so important. He is just directing traffic. He can’t be one of those top brass in the organization. If it was, he’d be inside: busy facilitating the contest.

To my surprise, Mr. Traffic Cop spoke up that night. He gave a humorous speech about his latest adventure visiting a new dentist. He stole the show.

His calm Clark Kent exterior belied the Super Comedy Man interior. He had the audience rolling on the floor, clutching their sides, curled up in a fetal position laughing hysterically. It wasn’t just good, it was “The Bomb”.

I couldn’t imagine this before when I pulled into the driveway. I thought it was someone low on the totem pole. Speech contestants were not supposed to do menial jobs. They are supposed to dress well and receive fancy braces.

My fault…

I found out that Super Comedy Man has played so many roles in his home club that he is now their current president. He also leads three other clubs as area governor. He possesses a strong determination to accomplish whatever he is involved with.

Do you know what I learned from him that night in March?

Real leaders do deeds…

They meet all needs…

So everyone is successful.

What is the secret of your success? What makes him such a good leader? What does it do that earns you so much respect?

The three assets of Super Comedy Man that can make him an invaluable leader:

1) Put others first. In Star Trek II, gasping his last breaths, Mr. Spock said, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of one.” He had given his life to save the Enterprise. It was the most moving and unforgettable scene of the entire series.

This goes against the present me first society. From early school age, children are programmed to get the best grades, get the best jobs, and live in the best neighborhoods. Unfortunately, they never really stand out from the pack.

So you hear about someone like Sister Teresa. She didn’t own much, but what she had she gave away. She made the honor roll by putting the needs of others first.

2) Give from within. In the Middle East there is a body of water called the Dead Sea. Nothing lives in it because water gets in, but can’t get out. It’s stuck.

In nature there is no stagnation. Everything that lives… gives. The seed bears fruit, the sun gives life and the clouds give rain.

It is the same for human beings. Those who give with integrity usually receive much more than they invested. However, can you believe that there are people who never share their abundance, talents or knowledge? Hoarding leads to stagnation.

3) Be a team player. It’s no mystery that five mediocre team players can beat five lone stars in almost any sport. His secret is teamwork. The power of a united group represents too powerful a force for most opponents.

Part of being on a winning team involves taking on other roles when necessary. That can include doing tasks that may be a little below you. Your teammates will respect you even more for taking on odd jobs when necessary.

You may also have to share, or get away from the spotlight. Doing so helps keep your team strong and balanced while achieving a common goal. It’s called an “assist” in basketball. a player alley oops while the other gets the slam dunk.

If you are a leader or want to become one, people will watch you, model you, and even quote you. Especially if they admire you. Smile and show them that you can lead from any position.

Tommy Yan helps entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs make more money through direct response marketing. He publishes the weekly Tommy’s Tease e-zine to inspire people to succeed in business and personal growth. Get your free subscription today at www.TommyYan.com.

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