An Unlikely Leader?

Posted by on Nov 30, 2013 in ALL Posts, Blog, Your Identity | 4 comments

Have you ever known someone in your life who seemed to be an unlikely leader, but who rocked your world in a way that you were never the same? Who was that person for you?  Was it a best friend?  Maybe this person was a spouse or perhaps even someone you never personally met. If you’ve ever had a loyal pet, then surely you have been spurred onto greatness just by how much he/she (or both if we are talking about a snail) admired and loved you.

As that person comes to your mind think about whether he/she would qualify as a leader in the world’s eyes. Many of the mentors and leaders in my life were leaders recognized by the world as such. But the person who truly shaped me, showed me the path and encouraged me along my way was not one of those people. She was never a CEO; she never wrote a book; she never had a crown or a royal robe; she didn’t pack stadiums with her presence; but she gave me life and nurtured and protected it.  She leads me every single day even though she is no longer here on this earth. She rocked my world! The unlikely leader to which I am referring was my mother.

MeMom.cropSee, she didn’t have to have the biggest house or the latest gadget or the coolest car. She didn’t need to know the most influential people or belong to the ‘in’ crowd. She simply wanted to live her life in an honest and upright fashion. She was determined to see the good in people and no matter her struggles she never stopped laughing;  She never stopped enjoying life; She never gave up her faith.

See, my mom was an unlikely leader. No leadership magazine would have accepted her writing or her examples or principles. She diligently lead herself and others, however, with an integrity rarely seen at the highest levels of business. She said what she meant and she meant what she said and the lives of those in her circles were changed for the better and forever, including mine.

Two questions for you today:

1) What unlikely leader has inspired you to reach for your fullest potential?

2) For whom are you an unlikely leader?
Setting aside your degrees and positions and accolades and medals, in what ways do you lead unexpectedly from the back corner of a dimly lit stage?

Everyone single one of us is a leader. Sometimes the most powerful leaders are those who seem to go unnoticed. Whatever you do, wherever you are, and for whomever you seek to inspire, be the very best leader you can be. Somebody is watching.
You are changing someone’s life whether you realize it or not.

In our comments section below, take a moment to give a shout out Thank You to the unlikely leaders in your life. Also, share your thoughts as to how you may be an unlikely leader in the life of someone else.

Until next time, as always:

Be Inspired!  Be Inspirational!  Be a Leader!

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  1. I find for myself it to be to easy to identify my parents as my unidentified leaders. So if I look else where I find a great Aunt we call Philly aka Aunt Phyllis. She’s seventy nine and is the favorite of favorites of the whole family. She is the baby of 13 siblings. All of her siblings have made her an aunt, great Aunt, great great Aunt, and more… she never married or had children of her own but she claimed all of us. She is my inspiration for my love of travel, photography, and the risky business of gambling. Through out my life we taken many a car trips and junkets. Do two weeks we were on the road hitting the gambling halls as we made are way across the country into Jackson Hole and Yellowstone. Such crazy places we stopped along the way to eat and photograph. Another journey took us up the coastal waters into Maine for a tall ship excursion out on the high sea for seven days. What a time we had. The best part were the long car rides filled with constant chatter, amazing, and loving some good old tunes. We still do monthly suppers to stay connected with other family members thrown in. What an amazing woman she is to me.

    To turn the table around onto myself. I would think that somewhere amongst my 20 nieces and nephews I too have made an indirect impact on their lives. Nurturing and encouraging to strive for more in life. My love of exercise I would hope would inspire them to lead an active life. I’ve taken them hiking so they can learn to appreciate nature and find the beauty as we walk and talk. Conversation in that kind of situation allows for a more meaningful dialogue. These were thoughtful provoking and insightful question. Thank you!

    • Nancy, thanks so much for your heart felt post! Your great aunt sounds like an incredible woman who pours her energy into her family and chooses to love every minute of every day. How fun and inspiring!! I have no doubt you are carrying on her tradition! 20 nieces and nephews!! WOW! Your life is filled with loving.

      Thanks again for a wonderful inspiring comment!!

  2. Both of my parents were unlikely leaders by the world’s standards but for the purpose of this comment I will focus on my Dad. All during my growing up days he was gone from home after breakfast on Monday through supper time on Friday travelling as a service representative throughout the Northeast. That left just Saturdays for him to accomplish projects around the house and spend quality time with my brother, sister and I. Every Saturday we knew that we could play with our friends for half of the day but the other half was reserved for Dad time. He taught us many useful skills over the years in this manner but even more useful life lessons. Working as a team can accomplish a lot more than going at things solo. God doesn’t want us to just tithe our money we need to give of our talents and time as well. Even though he was away from home so much of the week he still was one of the leaders in our church’s Christian Service Brigade boys group on Friday nights, a member of the Gideons International placing Bibles in hotels and taking turns speaking at Sunday Services in our local state prison. He also was a greeter/usher in the church foyer on Sundays. He taught to be faithful in working behind the scenes as well on projects and tasks that were needful but didn’t cause others to notice you. I guess that is why I enjoy what I do as a camp volunteer much more than what I have been doing as a camp board member for 40 years. The Christian camp I’m involved with has many opportunities for service that people might not even realize are there. “Doing the town run” (errands like picking up things as Walmart for special evening programs, making bank deposits, get replacement ski vests so the waterskiing class has enough in good working order. I love working as a volunteer in the kitchen accepting the challenge of feeding large numbers of people quality food in adequate amounts without blowing the food budget and serving it on time so that the overall schedule for the day stays on track. When it’s time to clean up afterward I usually tackle the pots and pans sink, the least desired spot by many others because again it is a challenge to get them done right by hand, and it seems it is a never ending job because as soon as one meal is done the head cook usually starts prepping for the next one. The longer I’ve been in the pots and pans sink up to my elbows over the years I’ve noticed others stepping up to help making the comment you’ve been doing this job quite a bit. Let me have a turn. I’d like to think it’s because I am usually smiling and or singing while doing the job and they’d think maybe the task is hiding a fountain of joy. So
    I guess in that way I am an unlikely leader.

    • WOW!!!!! That comment is packed with life-changing meaning, significance. That’s exactly what this blog is about. The people who may not hold a claim to fame by the world’s standard, but change the lives of others through love, dedication, and sacrifice. I agree – both your dad and you are exactly the kind of leaders to which this post refers. Thank you for interacting with us and inspiring us!! You’re amazing!

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