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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Leadership (03/14/05)

TITLE: "Is Our Child A Leader?”
By Annette Agnello


A long time ago there was a joke going around about a girl applying for college. There was of course a long form to fill out, at the end there was a request for her parents to answer several questions. The last question was, "Is your child a leader?" Her father thought about the question carefully, and about his daughter. After a lot of soul searching he finally admitted, my little girl is not a leader. So he wrote, she is not a good leader, but she is a good follower.

Before long the school wrote back, "Out of 4000 applicants we have 3999 leaders, but only one follower. We need your daughter all those leaders are going to have to have someone to follow them.

John Maxwell has written a number of books on leadership. He teaches thousands of people how to "lift their lids" meaning improve their level of leadership. Probably his most well known book is called "The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership" Where the natural talents each person has to be a leader are examined.

Even the girl, in the beginning, of our story could learn to be perhaps a great leader, but some kind of leader. In my own life I remember lots of leaders in High School there was a girl named Cindy. She was always popular and led the pack, head cheerleader, lead in the senior class play, homecoming queen, and piano player for the school choir. Some like playing the piano were learned, most were sheer popularity. She never did the work, but she got the credit. You would think she delegated, which would have been leadership. She just took the credit the ideas weren’t hers like the float for the homecoming parade. She took credit for the work, which she didn’t show up for. With her it was sheer popularity. She, of course, claimed all the credit there are a lot of leaders like that. The best definition of what she did according to John Maxwell was that she be using was the law of influence. The true leader was the one who designed the float, came to all the sessions building it and was standing on the float to accept the blue ribbon for best float. Even she had a lot to learn about leadership.

Maxwell rates leaders from 1 to 10, ten being the best. Our float builder was at best a 2, and only 1’s and 2’s would follow her. The lid is as high as a leader can go, good leaders learn and grow to become better leaders.

About Cindy using the law of influence. By what Maxwell teaches she was using it wrong. He tells of his own experience with his first church. He got things done through this law, but it wasn’t his influence. There was a man in the church who basically ran the church. Maxwell got what he felt needed to be done by discussing the church’s needs with “Claude” and Claude suggested it to the church. In the entire time he was in the church he never made a motion, but got everything he wanted done. Cindy didn’t need to push things through with her own influence; she needed a “Claude.” She would certainly have ended up better liked in the end. Twenty-five years later she had lost her influence, her popularity, her husband, her figure, and much more. John Maxwell makes a very telling statement, “If you’re leading and no body is following you, then you are just going for a walk.” To maintain your leadership you need trust, loyalty, timing, intuition and much more. The laws of leadership, and how to be a leader can be learned. Always keep looking behind you to see if anyone is following.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Karen Deikun03/21/05
I loved your opening! We do need a lot more followers - or at least people who know they aren't leaders! You may want to watch your grammar and punctuation. You had a few run together sentences in this article that left me a bit confused. However, you had some very good comments to make.
Dixie Phillips03/22/05
Thought-provoking article. Good job!
Penny Baldwin03/23/05
Good article, and the book sounds good too!
Delores Baber03/27/05
Interesting story. I suspect you knew the float designer even better than you knew Cindy. There's a saying, "You can get a lot done if you don't mind who gets the credit." Cindy didn't come off as a leader, but as a very popular girl that took all the credit that she could. This is the dog-eat-dog world, you know. Or is it our Father's world and we sees our motives and blesses us when we minister to others. Cindy's benefit was her popularity. But years have gone by and the land is filled with women who have nothing but memories and regrets. There's a sadness woven through this story.