No One Called Me

No One Called Me, Derek Matthews

When Did You Realize You Were a Leader?

I’ve been a leadership development trainer with Character Quest for about 9 years. One of the benefits of building the company from the ground up was having the opportunity to hand select my team. Since the beginning my team has always turned to me for direction – which is a great feeling right? Being wanted, being needed. That’s leadership right? Wrong, and here’s why.

The day I realized I was a leader was terrifying, yet rewarding.

In the summer of 2013, during an extensive 3-day leadership training session with a group of college students, I was unexpectedly rushed to a hospital because my air ways were being compromised. I had developed a sore throat so severe that I was having difficulty even breathing. After I was admitted to the hospital I was sitting, waiting for my phone to blow up with my team needing assistance, needing direction, and needing my expertise as their leader. Wrong

No One Called Me

Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I was reminded of a John Maxwell quote.

“Leaders who develop followers will always be needed, but leaders who develop leaders will always be succeeded.” – John Maxwell

Eureka! It was at that moment that I realized I was that leader who nurtured and developed my team to become leaders. Inside each of them was the capacity for autonomy, confidence and direction even when I was not there to lead.

So, there I was sitting in a hospital bed thinking to myself, “Wow, today I am a leader.”