How Will I Know If I Am A Leader

This week I am going to focus on leadership. What an interesting topic. Many books have been written on the subject and some speakers have built nice careers speaking on just leadership.

One of the most common questions on leadership is; how will I know if I am a leader? I attended a symposium on leadership about eight years ago. This was a full day session that was simulcast to an audience of over 250,000 in over a thousand locations around the world. There were six speakers with the key note being given by Tom Peters. Tom has always been one of my favorite speakers and authors. I just really like the way he thinks. During his presentation Tom told this story. He said that at the close of every presentation there is always a group of people waiting to talk to the speaker when you leave the stage (in my experience, this is always true). They didn’t use the public question or discussion time provided but they want their few private moments with the speaker. Tom said that when giving talks on leadership one of the questions that always comes up in these little private conversations is; how will I know if I’m a leader? Tom’s answer is simple; Turn around and look behind you. If there are people back there you are, and if there aren’t then your not.

Tom’s answer fits very well into my belief that people have an inherent need to be lead and will therefore seek out leaders they can follow.

I’m really interested in everyone else’s views on leadership so please share them in the comments section. Don’t be one of those waiting for your private conversation; let other benefit from your thoughts. I will carry on the leadership discussions through the week.