What is a leader?

What is a leader? The answer is simple. Everyone is a leader. The real question becomes: how good of a leader are you?

I was selected for the Future Leaders of YMC in January. Being a boutique agency, we are fortunate to be nimble and provide opportunities for participants to create and execute their concepts in progressing the company forward. Each year, there is an application process which is reviewed and selected by a third party. The participants are given one year to identify a company-wide problem and to provide a solution in the form of a project. The project is implemented and the results are measured. Monthly meetings gauge the progress of the project and what challenges have arisen.

Entering the program, my goal was to grow my leadership skills in order to bring out the highest potential in others. I wanted to make a positive impact on the growth of our company. To be honest, I really wanted to learn how to get to the next level in my career. It wasn’t about a title or paycheck, but more so the feeling that I was moving forward in life.

You may notice a common theme. There are a lot of “me” or “I” statements in that last paragraph. We are now rounding out the third quarter and my biggest take away is that leadership isn’t about me.

Recently, I was in a planning session that generated a great deal of opportunities for discussion. The group was comprised of a board of directors, the CEO, and a mix of staff members. We were rolling along with discussions on how these proposed changes could impact their existing members and serving potential members. There were tons of pros, cons, potential obstacles and possible failures. Every discussion was focused on the member and the credit union. There were no discussions about the departments or how hard it was going to be for anyone. There weren’t any “I” statements and none were reflected in the thought process.


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