in General

Want to be a Leader? Stop Trying to be a Leader


The strongest leaders don’t try to be leaders. They’re just doing their thing.

It’s great to read and try to learn how to be a leader, but the best books and guides can really be summed up as “determine your values, or standards, stick to them and communicate them efficiently”.

Great business leaders use a business canvas model template, bit aren’t trying to convince everyone to follow them. You can’t force leadership. Leadership is given to the leader by the people they lead. People follow those who have conviction and who know who they are.

In “The Score Takes Care of Itself”, assistant coaches shared their experience working with Bill Walsh, arguably one of the greatest coaches and leaders in the history of the NFL, and what made him so successful. But they don’t talk about his “leadership” directly, they describe his “standard of performance” and his work ethic. They describe his dedication to his system and how effective it was at aligning the team. Bill Walsh didn’t have to tell people he’s the leader. He formed his system, surrounded himself with the people who aligned with his system, and got rid of the people who didn’t.

A great leader for one group of people might be a terrible leader for another group of people. Like Bill, leaders surround themselves with people who believe in their mission, and cut the people who don’t. They don’t try to lead everyone, they want to lead the right people.

Leaders also come in many forms. Some are good, some are evil. Some are nice, some are mean. Some are really analytical, others are more creative. But look at any of them, any leader that people really respect, and it’s their standards that people respect…whatever those standards are.

What’s more important may be WHY you want to be a leader. Is it just to fulfill your own need to feel important? Or are you working to unite people and create a change in the world?

I think a lot about leadership. As a CEO, part of my responsibility is to be a leader for our team, for our community, for our partners, etc. But I don’t want to be a leader to be important. I want to be a leader because it empowers others to do great work and make a positive change.


If you want to be a leader, don’t try to be a leader, just do your thing. Focus on your values and the change you want to see in the world, then surround yourself with people who align with that mission.

Boom. You’re a leader. Now don’t be a jerk (=