We Need Leaders now More Than Ever.
In times of uncertainty, we need people who can step up and drive necessary change. We need people who motivate us. We need people who get us off our feet and demand action.
We need leaders. But what makes somebody a leader?
The Core Characteristics of A Strong Leader
Leadership isn’t about a salary or job title. It isn’t about awards or accolades. It isn’t even about being in charge. Leadership is about bringing people together…building communities.
Leaders grow and unite communities. They create and spread rallying cries when things are precarious. We’ve watched time and time again as leaders have united us and motivated us to tackle global issues.
In 2012, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head for her commitment to the education of girls worldwide. She didn’t let that deter her. She went on to spread her message at the United Nations, meet with world leaders, and become the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate in history.
Case Study: A Leader Who Took up the Environmental Fight
In 2017, Scooter Braun helped produce Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief, a benefit concert aimed at helping the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. In just one night, the event raised over $44 million that went on to empower organizations like Habitat For Humanity, Save The Children, and the ASPCA.
In 2019, when discussions around the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, a bill designed to assisted 9/11 first responders with medical care, stalled, Jon Stewart went to the Senate floor and lectured our elected officials on exactly why important to take care of the brave men and women who stepped up in a time of national tragedy.
His speech didn’t just go viral, it turned the nation’s attention to an issue that could’ve easily flown under the radar. President Trump signed the bill into law a week later.
What ties all these leaders together isn’t their backgrounds, experiences, or missions. What ties them together is that they have unique voices. They crafted messages that translated into action. They operate with conviction. They have built powerful, inclusive communities.
And in 2020, there is no more effective medium to build community than the social internet.
Platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram allow us to reach people on a global scale. They allow our messages to be spread far and wide. They show us that, no, people on the other side of the world aren’t all that different.
Anybody who isn’t using the power of the internet to grow their community is hampering the spread of their message. This is especially true nowadays, when so many people are pessimistic of social media. It only leaves more opportunity for those who see the true value in digital community building.
Just yesterday, in response to the coronavirus, Simon Sinek posted on LinkedIn. His message: “Now, more than ever, we need to embrace an infinite mindset. The finite mindset of opportunism, selfishness and panic will hurt all of us in the long run. Let us embrace generosity, selflessness and a calm caution as we navigate this together.”
Within just a few hours, there were thousands of likes and hundreds of comments in support of his message. He sparked discussions, provided guidance, and channelled the power of his community.
In my work with BW Missions over the past few years, I’ve been blessed to partner with thought leaders and visionaries in a number of industries — tech, finance, academia. And throughout this time, I’ve had a front row seat to the power of community.
I’ve watched how messages, unique perspectives, and powerful voices have transformed lives. I haven’t just learned more about the world, I’ve learned more about myself. I’ve been pushed to become a harder worker, a more critical thinker, and a better leader.
Immersing myself in a community of smart and thoughtful people has helped me refine my own message. It’s helped me narrow my focus and gain a better understanding of my own goals.
What makes a leader great goes far beyond functional skills. The best leaders are the people who drive emotional impact through the power of communities.