THE best leaders are self made.  They strive to be the best they can be.  One of my favorite organizational leaders, John Allison, worked his way up from rank & file employee to CEO of BB&T.  In each position he held, he committed himself to being the best possible exemplar of that role.  He made it his mission to understand what would constitute the best for each role then set out to achieve it.

The best leaders recognize that merit (or its lack) is the only criteria by which they judge themselves and others.  Sex, skin color, body type, and race are all irrelevant.  As Martin Luther King put it, people should “…not be be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”.

And that, the content of your character, your self image, your value as a human, to yourself and to others, should be defined by your purpose and your modus operandi, not by your affiliation to a race, a political ideology, or a football team.

And that’s where your will comes in.  You, that conglomerate of values, ideas, opinions, feelings, emotions, prejudices, memories, and tastes, are under your own control.  You have the power to shape your character, and therefore your destiny.  Abdicate the responsibility of control, and you’ll be a product of whatever you were born with and what your environment makes of you.  Chose to exercise your will, and you can be the person you admire most.

Taking the lead starts with activating your mind.  The first person you need to lead is you.