Why Effective Leaders are Always Great Step-Takers

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Leaders are step-takers.

Faced with a challenge, sometimes of overwhelming proportions, the instinct of effective leaders at first might not to be to solve the entire problem; usually it begins with a burning drive to simply take the first-step.

For this to happen typically there are three elements than converge, and leaders need to constantly be on the lookout for these elements.

1.   A pressing need

2.   A “holy discontent”

3.   A catalyzing event

No more powerful example can be found than that of Maruti Pujari.

Maruti lives in Goa, India, and I recently sat down with this remarkable leader to discover how these three elements had converged to move him from the sidelines and towards taking a powerful step to alleviating poverty.

1.   A pressing need

Maruti described his reaction upon first visiting the largest slum in Goa. “When we first came here, so many children were on the street. They had no shelter, no homes, no education.”

2.   A “holy discontent”

Bill Hybels’ teaching on a leader’s “holy discontent” has given new language to that gut-level drive that grips effective leaders.

That’s exactly what happened with Maruti Pujari.

“A burden came in our heart to do something for good, to help the people.”

3.   A catalyzing event

But, as is so often the case, a third element comes into play that drives the leader to becoming a step-taker.

For Maruti Pujari, that catalyzing event was the Global Leadership Summit (GLS).

“At the GLS we began to learn how we could take care of the people,” Maruti explained. “It gave us the courage to find out how we could take care of the children.”

Spurred on the by courage he and his colleagues found at the GLS, Maruti launched a Community Center in the heart of Goa’s largest slum.

“All the things we learned at the GLS we applied in our lives, and we started this Center. All the materials, all the teaching, all that we learn, we apply here”

Today, five years later, this Community Center is transforming the Goa slum, providing education, food and medical services to hundreds of families.

But it all started with one step.

In your leadership, watch for these three elements to converge.

They could be preparing you to take the biggest step of your life.

What is the biggest leadership step you’ve taken recently?


the author

Scott Cochrane

Lifelong learner, practitioner and coach of leadership, across more than 50 countries. Follower of Jesus, husband of Nora, grateful parent and grandparent.

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