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Growing Leaders Blog

on Leading the Next Generation


Two Pursuits That Always Produce Leaders

I am on school campuses all year long—all over the world. Our team at Growing Leaders does over 100 events a year, most of them in the U.S., but this year we will also be in Brazil, Singapore, China, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Regardless of where we go, we find students that ask the question: how do I get to be the leader?

My response is probably too simple for these young adults. They are likely looking for a silver bullet or a magic answer, full of complex formulas. Actually, the answer is simple to understand, but difficult to execute.

Leaders emerge naturally—even without a title or position—when they pursue two objectives in their life:

1.     Solve Problems – Instead of complaining, they seek to find solutions to problems or challenges that arise. They are solution-based. The fastest way to gain leadership is to solve problems for people and teams.

2.     Serve People – Instead of being self-absorbed, they look outward and always find new ways to meet the needs of others. The most efficient way to deepen your influence is to serve others without asking anything in return.

Don’t let the simplicity of these two items fool you. Every authentic leader in history rose up because they performed these two tasks, often before they ever got a title.
Try it this week.



  1. Paul on April 7, 2011 at 7:16 am

    I can understand clearly,you are very write….if you have a title and you dont solve people’s problem you are a mere ruler.In Africa we dont have many leaders,we have rulers most often than not.

  2. Gayle on April 7, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Leaders – that is a very overused word with very few who meet the criteria. The two points you made are true and seem easy enough, but in our society of “what’s in it for me” the ideals and spirit of being a servant and a solver of problems is harder than it seems. A true leader shows these attributes within a very short span of time and can be picked out among the pack even among those who have more authority.

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Two Pursuits That Always Produce Leaders