The extraordinary is not beyond you. It’s just one small step away. – Julia Immonen
Great leaders know what they want. So, in order to be a great leader, you’ve got to figure out what you want. You’ve got to figure out where to direct your talents, your energy, your life.
For me, there’s one question or idea that can help determine what that “thing” is for you, especially if you’re just starting out in your leadership journey: What makes you angry? What makes your blood boil? If you can answer that, you’re on to something regarding your passion and life’s purpose.
Anyone who knows me knows that my mission statement is: the greatest force for change is a job. For me, it isn’t actually about the “job” when I talk about job creation. Jobs are simply what it takes for me to address what I believe is important.
What I actually want is for people to have the freedom to make economic decisions for themselves. I want people to not feel like victims or be dependent on government. I want people to not have to live in fear of whether or not your job and economic independence can be taken away from you. Of course, employment could always be lost for one reason or another, but your career or ability to take care of your family should be something that you own. That is what gives me passion. Short of winning the lottery, a job is the best way to do that.
Leaders have got to figure out what the thing is that so enrages you – good or bad – that you can’t imagine that it could ever be solved without you doing something. That’s where you’ve got to dedicate yourself.
It doesn’t have to be some great, glorious social problem; it could be that you’re tired of seeing bad television and you want to create TV that changes people’s lives. The creators of Sesame Street had a vision that they could bring quality children’s programming to the world that changed the lives of children and families. They’ve done amazing things with that passion.
You’ve got to figure out what you’re passionate about in order to be a great leader. Maybe this question first posed by Andy Stanley will help you, “Many years from now, what would you like people to line up to thank you for?”