“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”
Nested in the middle of the Ruby mountains the Lamoille canyon provides a beautiful landscape, as the sun provides their last rays of the day, the magical colors of the plants and the terrain comes to live. The canyon is also home to the Lamoille creek, as you enter the canyon you can hear the creek roar as is leaving the canyon and goes into Spring Creek NV to provide must needed water to the ranches nested at the bottom of the ruby mountains. If you continue driving on highway NF-660 you will notice the creek noise getting weaker and weaker until you reach the end of the of the highway, at that point you can’t hear the creek anymore and you have to look for it.
Leadership is like the Lamoille creek; it starts very quiet and very small. Great leaders are not born great, they might have been borne with the skills necessary to lead but they have to develop them, they are not born with a bunch of followers willing to do great things for a cause deemed worthy, instead great leaders are made and shape by the circumstances, by the events and by the people around them, and just like the Lamoille creek doesn’t keep the water for itself but it donates it to the land in order to create and green beautiful landscape that contrast with the Northern Nevada desert, so a leader must be willing to donate their time and talent to get their movement, project or cause to prosper and flourish.
There has been a lot of discussion about leaders and leadership but somehow the role played by followers is undercut, underrated and it might even seem relevant by some, but the truth is that just like the Lamoille creek it does not become big on its own but by collecting water from other creeks along its journey down the canyon so great leaders become great by collecting strength, wisdom and knowledge from followers, a great leader knows it and it gives credit when credit is due, yet is important to remember the role played for those followers. Without the belief in the need for change and civil rights Dr. Martin Luther King would have been unable to start a movement that ended up changing our perspective and our views towards one another in this country, but just as important are those who believe in Dr. King and who were willing to follow him, who were willing to sacrifice weather, insults, loss of jobs and credibility. Without those followers the movement would have never grown, and changes would have not happened.
As we reflect on leaders and leadership, let’s consider that both of them require growth and that followers are just as important to leaders, after all there is no leader without followers. To become a great leader, it will require growth and for a movement to become great it will require leaders, followers and growth. These go hand and hand and should not be separated.