The word leader is a noun. It could be a person or a thing and it is usually used to describe a position. The word leading is a verb. It is an action word.

Although, the two words sound similar, they have very different meanings. Leaders hold positions and those leading are taking action.

Unfortunately, not all leaders are leading.

Some leaders may be tied to particular interest groups or constrained by personal goals. Others have been put into a position of authority simply by time spent in an organization. This does not equate to effectiveness.

Leading others means taking chances and experimenting with what works. It also means presenting a vision for the future. Not only for themselves, but hopefully for the people they represent.

Leading people is a full contact sport and not for the faint of heart. It requires you to not only know yourself, but also have a deep understanding of those you serve.

It’s not easy.

Successful leading starts with creating order out of chaos; taking the initiative and accepting responsibility; establishing trust and credibility; and finally, creating new sources of value.

Stepping forward and taking action is a critical part of any successful leadership initiative. It’s not enough anymore to call the shots from the sideline.

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