The title of this post presents a valid question…what if you don’t want to be a leader? I know, it’s hard for “natural leaders” to understand this mentality. (There is no such thing as a “natural leader” by the way). But some people simply do not want to be leaders. What if that is you?
I’ve asked Robert Kennedy III to answer that very question. Robert is an educator/trainer/coach at heart. He loves to help people create hope, generate excitement and a belief in their capacity to change lives, starting with their own. He is a motivator-extraordinaire! He lives in Baltimore County, He lives with his family in Maryland where he runs his business and is active as a leader in his local church. He is also the author of a phenomenal book, 28 Days To A New Me: A Journey of Commitment.
Check out his blog or follow him on Twitter and tell him you heard about him from me.
Take it away Robert…what if I don’t want to be a leader?
Everybody has a purpose.
Some people may not believe that but I really do believe so. I believe it more now than ever before since having children. Each day, my children grow older, and they develop these crazy little things called personalities and I see the things that draw them and the things they are beginning to excel at.
Now, just because my son excels at praying what I think are awesome prayers doesn’t mean he will become a preacher (although, his grandfather is one). But, it does give me a hint about what is important to him. It tells me a bit about what he is drawn to. It does tell me a bit about the types of situations in which he may end up. Why is it that things tend to turn out that way?
Many writers talk about the law of attraction and how the things that you focus on become the things that you attract. But I often wonder why it is that I end up in places that I didn’t intend on going to? Why is it that I seem to end up leading when I wasn’t focused on it? Why is it that in a committee of strangers, I get chosen to be the leader? There are many times I don’t want it. There are many times that I run away from it but it still seems to happen.
Examples from the Bible
I remember at least three biblical stories of running away from leadership or responsibility.
Jonah was supposed to go and tell the people over in Nineveh to get their act together or else. He ran.
Moses got a little big-headed and “accidentally” killed somebody. He ran.
Jacob decided that he was going to con the leadership position out of his brother and then what did he do? He ran.
In my life, it seems that every time I didn’t want to be in a position of leadership, it happened. Even when I was in a place where no one really knew me. Part of my challenge, though, is keeping my mouth shut. I don’t know how to hide very well. I’ve never blended in well and I always have an opinion to share.
What drives you?
What I am learning is that there is something deep inside each of us that drives us. We can choose to ignore it or follow it. Often, when we aren’t paying attention, it sneaks out and reveals us to others.
I can definitely suppress it and I have the ability to change who I’m being on any given day. I can suppress some things for so long that I become desensitized to it. But, given time, there is always something that we come back to.
Have you ever just sat quietly and thought about your ‘thing’?
What drives you?
Have you ever asked anyone close to you how they see you?
You may want to do that ‘thing’ or you may not. But, I’ve heard that your ‘thing’ is really what guides you to your success. Your ‘thing’ is what opens the doors. Your ‘thing’ is what makes you interesting. Your ‘thing’ is what makes you authentic.
So, even though I don’t always want to, I just seem to get in to situations where I can do my ‘thing’. Life is just so much easier when I follow it.
How have you found life to be when you have followed your ‘thing’?
4 thoughts on “What if I Don’t Want to Lead? | Reluctant Leader by Robert Kennedy III”
If you don’t want to be a leader, have the courage to turn down the position. If more non-leaders refused leadership positions, the world would be a happier place.
And I have begun my crusade to provide enough evidence that there is such a thing as a person who is born to be a leader. Much training and experience is required in order to become a leader, but there are those who are born to it.
Watch for proof.
Life has worked out pretty well when I’ve followed my thing. I guest my question is about the next step in my career and leadership journey. I am certainly a great candidate to replace the leaders in front of me who will be retiring in the next few years. Am I ready? Is it for me just because the position(s) will be open? These are questions I need to ponder as I move forward.
Great comment Jon. I have honestly stopped asking myself if I am ready. I am just deciding what I want to go for and then creating steps to get there. If I wait until I “think” I am ready, then I may come up with reasons why I am not 🙂
I think when it is your time to lead it is not about wether you are ready or not. I don’t think anyone is ever really ready, ready. It is more a matter of determination and passion. If you care for it ( the company, family, etc ) more then yourself you may have to lead even if you do not want to.