50 Posts 50 Rules: Tom Peters on Leadership #8

8. Leaders create their own ( peculiar? ) destinies.

Strangely worded for a rule don’t you think. Essentially we leaders must recognize that leadership is not an intellectual thing. I go to school for leadership I learn everything about the subject therefore I am now a leader.

WRONG!

That may make you an academic of sorts but certainly not a leader. It may prepare you for a leadership role but it does not make you a leader. When I went through my masters degree in…leadership I was often amazed that fellow students would not be the first to volunteer, step into leadership roles in projects. After all what did they think they were studying? Basket weaving?! I even had people gripe that I never relented in stepping forward. What a twilight zone! That was the whole point of the degree! Do you want to lead or do you want to know how to lead?

For me the answer was not a zero sum game. I wanted to learn how to lead by leading. This is Peters’ point in this law. Opportunity is out there every day. We must prepare ourselves for the opportunity. We must not become like McClellan was to Lincoln ever preparing never attacking. No Leadership is not a spectator sport so get out there and get your hands dirty leading something.

Challenge: Lead something, anything.

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