Can anyone really become a great leader?


photo by Edwin S. Loyola, from

I had a great talk with my younger brother this morning on the phone – it was about 12pm here in Kyrgyzstan, and 11pm there in Los Angeles. I told my brother Jonathan that I was thinking about writing a blog again. The talk went something like this:

Jon: So… what do you know that’s blogworthy? That is, what would you write about?

Me: Well, I’ve been thinking a lot about leadership these days, and there’s a lot to teach.

Jon: Oh, in your work at the university out there?

Me: Yeah, exactly. The big thing I’ve realized here in Kyrgyzstan is that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are. The fact is that leadership opportunities are everywhere for everyone. You just need to know how to see them – and take full advantage of them.

No more excuses.

Over the last two years, I’ve done lots of reading, following blogs, watching and listening to lectures and podcasts. As I spoke those last words to my brother, I realized that I was basically rewording a quote by Bennis and Nannus that I’d first read two years ago:

“The truth is that leadership opportunities are plentiful and within reach of most people.”

In our day and age, there are so few excuses. There are so many blogs, podcasts, TED talks, and e-books that are aimed at helping people learn the art of leadership. There are so many people willing to share what they know. Any person anywhere can start learning how to be a great leader.

The great problem is that so few people know HOW. And people – not only here in Kyrgzystan, but everywhere – need to know. We’ve got to start learning – and never stop. If we don’t, we are taking our potential and we are burying it in the ground. We are taking our gifts and smashing them. But:

What if instead of burying our potential, we dug it up – and set it free?

What if instead of smashing our gifts, we cultivated them – and grew them to make a fantastic impact on our communities?

What if we BECAME the change we wanted to see in the world?

That’s why I’m writing. I want to know the answers to these questions. So I’m using this blog as a platform to share what I’ve found so far, and to explore and discuss with other like-minded people.

So come one, come all! We all have a lot to learn, and we’ll go much farther if we go together. Leaders learn and learners lead – so let’s start learning, and never stop.

QUESTION: Do you really believe that you have many leadership opportunities all around you? Why or why not?
I’d love to hear your comments, thoughts and questions – put them out here and we’ll talk!


2 thoughts on “Can anyone really become a great leader?

  1. Pingback: Three people who are willing and able to grow your leadership – daily! | Learn. Lead. Live.

  2. Pingback: You don’t blog yet? Here’s 32 reasons you ought to start. | Learn. Lead. Live.

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