Everyone has leadership potential but few are willing to develop it. Why do so many people waste their leadership potential? I addressed the burden of responsibility as an obstacle in a previous blog post. I believe that another reason is the price that such personal development demands. It is hard work to develop your leadership potential. Think of it as a muscle. Now consider the price involved to develop a muscular framework. The amount of time you have to spend in the gym and constantly watching what you eat are just two key costs of having a toned body. You have to endure some pain in order to build your muscles. The ‘perfect’ body requires a disciplined lifestyle; likewise you can’t develop your leadership potential without the discipline of hard work.
Effective leaders make the art of leading seem easy. The masses are distracted by the simplicity of their leadership that they fail to spot the discipline that sustains it in the background. We are all tempted to think that we can do a better job if we had the type of luck they had. They focus on the luck and forget the discipline.
All the exemplary leaders who left a great legacy behind had two things going for them – they were ‘lucky’ to be at the right place at the right time and they were very disciplined. Carl Zuckmeyer was spot on when he said that “half of life is luck (or providence); the other half is discipline – and that is the important half, for without discipline you wouldn’t know what to do with luck.”
Developing your leadership potential lifts you above your peers who shy away from both the responsibility and discipline. The people who are willing to pay the price eventually earn the privilege to lead the rest.