Leadership Is A Choice

What type of leader are you choosing to be?

Founder & President of Spaulding Companies, a leadership development, speaking, training, and executive coaching firm, Tommy Spaulding, shares from his personal experience leadership principles learned at an early age. What kind of leader are you? Did you know that you can choose? Tommy reveals that not only can you design your leadership future, but also that the type of leader you decide you to be impacts the rest of your life. Discover what Tommy learned can change the trajectory of your leadership! Today on Leadercast!
When I was in 10th grade in high school, back in 1985, I got asked to be in my first, my very first leadership camp. It was called RYLA, Rotary Youth Leadership Academy. It was a one-week leadership camp. And I was the alternate, and the guy that was supposed got sick and I got lucky to go. I thank God he was sick because that really changed my life. There was a guy named Tom France, he's passed away now, and he was Rotarian. He had this navy blue suit and these red socks and he was Santa Claus, but he was only 150 pound because his rosy cheeks and he was this authentic guy and he was the closing keynote speaker. And all the RYLA participants were all gathered after the week and he said, "There are three types of people in the world." I'll never forget exactly. I said, "Well, okay, what kind of three people?" He says, "There are leaders, and there are followers, and there are critics. Three types of people, doesn't matter where in the world you live, what you do, there are only three types of people in the whole world. There are leaders, there are followers and there are critics." And then, he said, the punch line, he said, "The question is which one are you going to be?" And it was the first time at 15 years old that I realized I get to choose. I get to choose if I'm going to be a leader or a follower or a critic. It's a choice. I never realized that leadership was a choice at that age. I thought you're born with that and it's bestowed upon you, but it's a choice. And four years later I'm now writing books on leadership that I couldn't agree more, and you choose to be a leader. And I think that's the most important question you ask yourself. Okay, if you choose to be a leader, then what kind of leader do you want to become? Do you want to be a servant leader, to serve others? Do you want to be a self-serving leader? And no one wakes up in the morning and says, "I'm going to be a self-serving leader," but the truth is most are. And so if you decide to be a servant leader or what I call a heart-led leader, you have to really ask yourself, what does it take to be a heart-lead leader? It's putting people first. So a few things that you can do to get on the path of becoming a heart-led leader. One is to take the 18-inch journey, which is the 18 qualities from your head to your heart that I talk about in my book, "The Heart-Led Leader." The second thing is to do an audit, is to really write down all the people that follow you, the people that are on your team, the people that you lead. Write their first name and their last name down, and ask yourself the serious question is, "How do I serve these people?" And so when you go to work every day, five, 10 minutes before you go to work, you should write down all the people that work with you and you should look at their names and say to yourself, "What am I going to do today to serve this person?" And if you're working with customers and clients, write their names down and say, "What am I going to do today to serve these people beyond the product and sales, the product and services I'm going provide for them? How could I serve?" Hold yourself accountable. Servant leadership doesn't happen in a vacuum. You've got to be purposeful in it. And for me, writing it down is critical. Is to, I set goals every day and say, "These are the 15 things I'm going to do to serve people in my organization."

Tommy Spaulding

Tommy Spaulding is the founder and president of Spaulding Companies, a leadership development, speaking, training, and executive coaching firm based in Denver, Colorado. A renowned speaker on leadership, Tommy has spoken to hundreds o...

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