I always thought leaders were the people who started the company or led the fight against the opposition. I thought leaders had to have thousands of followers; people looking to the one person in charge waiting with baited breath to find out what the leader wanted them to do. I thought leaders had to approve every decision, know how to do everything, and have an answer immediately available for any scenario. And to fall short of this expectation, a person would be anything but a leader. I might even secretly call them incapable or a failure.
With this mindset, I have run myself ragged over the past several years trying to have all the answers. And I never did this from a position of pride; I never thought I had to be a know-it-all. I just thought that since my practice is, well…mine, I had to know everything. The truth is (spoiler alert…), I don’t know everything, nor do I need to.
I spoke with Daniel Tardy from Dave Ramsey’s organization last week. He’s somebody I have tremendous respect for. I was telling him how exhausted I get with all the questions I get all the time, and he said something profound. He told me, “Just because you’re the leader doesn’t mean you have to have all the answers. That would be a huge mistake. I used to think that. It just means you have to be willing to go first.”
I have slept through the night every night since that conversation. I’m happy to go first. I’m thrilled that the expectation on me is not necessarily to always know what to do, but to be willing to take the first step. That’s something I can do, and it’s a lot easier than having every detail worked out in my head for every scenario I might someday be asked about.
Where in your life are you willing to go first?