Will You Lead Or Follow? - By Mike Lynch


Will You Lead Or Follow?


Another school year has stolen away your summer. It’s hot in the classroom and hotter on the practice field. New teachers, new school, new classmates, new issues. How will you handle all of these and move forward this year? All of this can be intimidating and, at times, discouraging. Leaders on teams, in the hallway and the cafeteria will emerge and it will happen naturally. A good leader doesn't have to be a captain or the smartest student in the school.

Leaders earn their reputation and respect by their actions, not by yelling and screaming. A leader welcomes the freshmen, the first year students in middle school, the transfer student who just moved in from out of town or another school. A leader stands up to bullying and hazing. A leader walks over to the student sitting by himself/herself in the cafeteria, and joins that intimidated student for lunch. A leader is the first one on the practice field and the last one to leave. A leader helps the player struggling with a bad day, a problem at home or a class that seems impossible.

A leader helps the manager with his/her endless and thankless tasks. A leader makes the student manager feel part of the team at practice, during games and at social events. (Note to all: The manager of my college football team, Steve Ballmer, was the CEO of Microsoft and now owns the Los Angeles Clippers - you never know.) A leader steps in when a female is being harassed and has no fear of ridicule from his peers. A leader says "give me the car keys" when a friend shouldn't be behind the wheel.

A leader says "yes please" and "no thank you." A leader is accountable, reliable and dependable. A leader doesn't make excuses. A leader always places "we" ahead of "me." You cannot buy, rent or download leadership. It comes from within. Leaders refuse to settle for mediocrity. Leaders know the price for success is always paid in advance. It's your choice. Do you want to lead or do you want to follow? The choice is yours and it's never too late to jump in.


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