A leader is not a leader all the time

I love watching reality telivision shows where they form teams to compete against each other. It always seems like it comes down two things when the losing team is choosing who to eliminate, competency and likability.

Everyone wants to be the leader, but not everyone can be the leader at every moment. At times we see people try to rise to leadership because they feel they know what they are doing, and they might have a heart of a leader, but when it come to push and shove, they are not as competent as they think they are.

Their low competence leaves the leader unsure where to lead his team. He has a harder time seeing the big picture a comptetent leader would see. Because of the lack of direction, it leads to a lack of trust and people trying to take over because of the fear losing. Eventually the leader sees his team collapse in front of him, which leads to him being on the elimination table.

One of the challenges of being a leader is to know when not to lead. We are not called to lead every moment, because we are not fully competent at every situation. At times when we might not be knowledgable about situation, take the opportunity to help a young leader develop.


8 comments so far

  1. Shane on

    As a leader, you don’t always have to have the best idea. You just have to recognize the best idea when you see it … I think that’s a core competency that makes up for all the things we don’t know by taking the time to listen to the team.

  2. Billy on


    Great point. It can be a challenge sometimes to recognize that it is not your idea that is the best. Thanks for commenting!


  3. Steve Roesler on


    “We are not called to lead every moment, because we are not fully competent at every situation.”

    Your statement is so very true and underscores two important principles:

    1. Leaders have to be aware of their own gaps and be humble enough to acknowledge them

    2. Leaders have to constantly be identifying who else has the abilities to fill those gaps, and then bring them in to do so.

    Nice post, Billy.

  4. Billy on

    Thank you Steve. You are right on about finding others to fill the gaps. This is also an amazing opportunity to develop new leaders to eventually continue on when you are done.

  5. Brad Trnavsky on

    Sometimes the best thing a leader can do is let their team members do what they do best and then shine the spot lite on them to recognize a job well done.
    Leadership is not about being the guy with all the ideas… It’s about facilitating an environment that maximizes the productivity of those around you.
    Reality shows are a great opportunity to watch classic examples of people who have been promoted to their level of incompetence!

    Great post!

  6. Julian on

    Hey Billy – you know my thoughts on this stuff.

    Everyone wants to be the leader but not everyone wants to take the responsibility that comes with the position. They misunderstand what a leader is and what it takes to keep being one and become a great one.

  7. Billy on

    Thanks Brad and Julian for the comments.

    Julian you are right on about people not wanting to take responsibility, and interesting thing is that I believe part of responsibility is helping your team members do their best like Brad mentioned. As a leader you are responsible for the team’s success, and helping with the member’s success. Thanks for the great comments. I love seeing all these comments!

  8. Saroj Dhongadi on

    Thanks for the post.

    It has teached me new topic today. I tried to become leader in our group and have successed and failed in some occations. Its great to try on above points. Its new learning.

    Saroj D.

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