This question has always troubled me until recently. I just finished a book that was given to me to help give me guidance on to how to lead in a small group setting called Lead Small by Reggie Joiner and Tom Shefchunas. The book posed this question as well. I want to start by saying I think that we all need those leaders that gather large groups of people together and unite us. However, I believe that just because we are called to be leaders does not mean that the only way to be one is to gain a massive following. The book I was reading presented an idea that I had perhaps never thought of before; that in a bigger picture scope, the everyday people that choose to lead through everyday life to the people they come in contact with are just as effective, possibly even more effective, than those who lead big. To quote the book;
“Most people dream of finding an opportunity to do something BIG. To make a BIG change. To lead BIG. That’s why we accumulate Facebook friends and Twitter Followers, make videos in hopes of going viral, climb the corporate ladder, audition for “So You Think You Have the Voice To Dance with the Biggest Loser”. In fact most of us believe the best way to make a BIG difference is to get a big following. And when the masses don’t follow, when the 11’o’clock news isn’t knocking down the door, we try something else. Something BIG. But what if the things we consider BIG don’t matter as much as we think? What if the biggest difference is made by not doing something big at all? What if the biggest things are really accomplished by doing something small? When we lead small we realize that what we do for a few will always have more potential than what we do for many.”
Pgs.18 Lead Small
Growing up, I was influenced by a lot of things. The music I listened to, the sports I played, the shows I watched and possibly even more than I thought at the time, the people around me. There are several men besides my father that I found myself being influenced by in a positive way. Each one lead small by taking interest in me; praising me when I deserved it and getting on my case when I needed it. For example when I was about 14 I had decided in my selfish teenage mind that my life was absolutely terrible and the only way out was to run away. So I did. However being a teenager, I took my phone with me. I still don’t know why, it seems like an incredibly stupid move looking back. But this where one of those men in my life decided to lead small; He found out that I had taken my phone with me when I ran away and gave me a call. He said to meet him in a nearby park and he and his wife would pick me up and take me to dinner.
Now this would have been a perfect opportunity to scold me, yell at me for my selfishness and then take me home. But instead he decided to take me out to eat with his wife and just chat with me, hang out and have some fun. It was his decision to lead small that eventually caused me to go home later that night. That night changed me forever. Because of his decision to lead small and put away his selfishness, I decided to do the same. I repeat; “When we lead small we realize that what we do for a few will always have more potential than what we do for many.”
So, what can you do? How can you lead small for your kids, for their friends, even for your friends and their children? How can you bring out the potential of those around you by leading small?
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