Why Leaders Must Look Back in Order to Push Ahead

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When you’re clear on your leadership call, you can persevere through almost anything.

I was reminded of that truth this week as I was rummaging through some previous blog posts. I came across a personal favorite, entitled “What To Do When Your Leadership Has Been Rattled”

In that post I related that one of the things a leader must do to regain their confidence is to “Remind yourself about how you first recognized that you had a leadership gift.”

In my case, one of those moments came in a most unlikely way, and in a most unlikely place.

I was a young man in my mid 20’s. I was at church prior to the start of the second morning worship service and happened to be nearby when an older gentleman collapsed from an apparent heart attack. Despite the best efforts of the paramedics, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Someone found his contact information in his wallet and called his wife, who had stayed home that day. The paramedics took his lifeless body to the hospital. The worship team prepared for the now-delayed second service. And I climbed into my car to drive home.

Two blocks away a series of thoughts suddenly gripped me:

  • In a few minutes his shocked and grief-stricken widow would arrive at the hospital.
  • She would have known that he passed away at our church.
  • With our pastors now fully engaged in our 2nd service, there would be no one at the hospital when she arrived.

“Someone from our church needs to be there for her,” I said to myself.

And I knew that the “someone” would likely have to be me.

I swung my car around, headed for the hospital, and found the widow sobbing alone next to the body of her husband. I simply said, “Ma’am, my name is Scott. I’m here from the church.”

There was no nobility in this. I did only what had to be done.

And that, I later realized, was the beginning of leadership.

Facing a leadership challenge? Take time to revisit the times and places where you began to recognize that you might have a leadership call on your life.

Because when you’re clear on your call, you can persevere through just about anything.

When did you first recognize your own leadership call?


the author

Scott Cochrane

Vice President- International, Global Leadership Network. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam & Robin, Amy, Dave, Willow & Olive and John, Fiona & Will. Lifelong learner.

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