Featured Columnist Shawn Naylor

“Leadership is the act of serving in such way that others will follow” says Tim Coles, the National Director of Youth For Christ.

Ever since I was young, I was interested in leadership, but I was never “ready” for leadership. Personally, I don’t think that one is ever fully ready. I, like many of us, had romantic, untested, and false ideas about leadership. It wasn’t until I watched The Lord of the Rings film series that I began to understand the role of a leader, how and why leaders are discovered or chosen.

One scene in particular really defined my thoughts on leadership. It is the first time that we meet Aragorn at the Prancing Pony Inn—he is a man on the fringe who knows how to live under the radar, but can recognize when something extraordinary when he encounters it. His life shifts from fulfilling his own desire and destiny to protecting and aiding another in their pursuit.

Leading Them to their Potential

Now, I don’t want to write a whole piece on the leadership principles that can be found in the character of Aragorn, I just want to show how this scene gave a me a glimpse into leadership that I had never thought of before: that one lays down their own desires and objectives (for a time) to aid another in order for the fruition of their lives to manifest. Oddly, this often brings the leader to the doorstep of their desires and destiny, whether they intended to or not!

Over the next coming months, my goal is simple: help you become a better leader than you were yesterday. I know that this sounds soft, but it is anything but. In order to be better, you will be required to do some of the deepest introspection that you have ever done. This will put you into the arena of your weakness, to wrestle it, subdue, and ultimately lead you through it. You will have to do things that nobody else is willing to do, and yet the discovery to be found will only materialize once it is done. So buckle up, because this road is not for everyone.

I believe that becoming a better leader will bring you closer to realizing your potential. We will unpack leadership and dive into the unknown beyond the foundational principles.

My hope is that whatever leadership we engage in is fruitful and invested in things greater than ourselves. Hopefully, I will get to respond to some of your questions, and we can learn and be challenged by each other along the way.  Now let me be clear: I am not a guru on leadership, I did not pursue leadership, I have just found myself in the middle of it. My hope is that you will embrace the role you have with direction, meaning and purpose.

Your leadership only goes as far as those who you deploy.