Put the word “leadership” into an Amazon search and it brings up more than 67,000 book titles. It’s obvious leadership is a hot topic today, and yet figuring out how to be a good leader can leave us cold. We know what good leadership looks like when we see it, but we’re not always sure how to get to that seemingly magical place. The good news is magic has nothing to do with it. In fact, you have everything you need to become a good leader at your fingertips right now, within yourself. “Leader” isn’t a job title; it’s an attitude.
At some point in our lives—whether we run a Fortune 500 company, a mom-and-pop diner, aBoy Scout troop or a family household—we will be thrust into the role of leader. What we do with that opportunity is entirely up to us. “The ability to become such a leader is a choice that any person can make, any parent or grandparent, any teacher, any coach, any co-worker, any friend,” writes Stephen R. Covey, author and motivational speaker.
Leaders Are Made, Not Born
Andrea Roberts didn’t set out to be a leader, or a hero. When she gave birth to her son Reece in 2002, she figured she’d be like any other new mom. When Reece was born with Down syndrome, Andrea and her husband realized they would have to chart a new course.
“The life we had envisioned for ourselves and our first-born son was turned completely upside down, and we felt very much alone,” she says. “Our faith that God had given Reece to us, and us to Reece, for a purpose carried us through our darkest hours.”
In 2004, Reece’s Rainbow was established as an outreach program serving families of babies with Down syndrome in Atlanta, Georgia, and Andrea took on the challenge of helping other new parents face the difficult but joy-filled journey of life with a Down syndrome child.
“I was moved, honored, and terrified. Would I be able to face a new grieving mother? Would I be able to help and not break down again? Yes,” Andrea says, with confidence and faith. Since that time, Reece’s Rainbow has expanded to become an international ministry that facilitates adoptions for Down syndrome children around the world. Through Andrea’s initiative and God’s grace, hundreds of orphans have become part of loving families.
True leaders, like Andrea, rise to the occasion. They take challenges and turn them into blessings and opportunities by being true to themselves and the people they love and serve. Oftentimes being a leader doesn’t require specific skills or training; it requires self-confidence, sincerity, strength, and a willingness to learn.
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