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  • Kimberly B. Lewis

Leadership in the Trenches


Do you have what it takes to lead?


There are many books to help steer leaders in the right direction. There are countless conferences that feature great leaders sharing their secrets to success. And, over the years I have heard several debates on whether leaders are born or cultivated. I ascribe to the notion that leaders are born and cultivated.


Parents can attest that little Amy or Joey came out of the womb knowing what they wanted and how to get it. They were the leaders of their siblings and peers in elementary school. Yet, there are others who learned to lead, first by following, then by taking up the mantle in various areas of their career.


I read a book a few years ago and met the author of “Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up.” The author, Paul Schmitz asserts that leadership is more about the action one takes than the position one holds.


Schmitz is an expert in the field of collective leadership and has trained thousands of young people on how to make social impact in their communities. He believes that leading as something you do to benefit communities rather than just one organization or group of individuals. It’s more than the job or title you hold.


Leadership is an action word and requires decisive and quick action movements. The person with no title at all or one who is considered to be the low man on the ladder, might turn out to be the leader in the company because he or she is willing to take action for the greater good of everyone.


Secondly, actions of leadership is the way that one can take their passion, their drive to do good and do what’s right to work so that the common goals of the company are met, not so that they will be noticed or receive a pat on the back.


Over these last two years, we’ve seen leadership in our communities at all levels and in all ages. We’ve see people’s values come across leading food drives, volunteering to give COVID screenings, find safe places for the homeless to wash up, eat and sleep when everything shut down.


These moments of leadership have been demonstrated by ordinary people and they inspire us all to step up in ways to improve our communities. So again, I ask do you have what it takes to lead? Absolutely you do.


My challenge to you is to identify a way that you can help people in your neighborhood or city, and take the action steps to improve the lives of others.

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