A leader’s first job is to define reality. What’s the goal? What needs to be done? A leader takes fantasies, dreams, wants and needs, and infuses those under her with the vision and motivation to make them a reality. It has been said that no wind favors him who has no destined port. In contrast, a leader is one who knows where she wants to go, gets up, and goes. The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have never been; to blaze a new trail to the end of the journey.

It takes courage to be a leader because he is the one who takes risks, who points the way through a sometimes murky and uncertain path towards the triumph of achieving the goal. Courage is built not by shrinking from the fear of failure, but by meeting such anxiety head on, and gaining strength, courage and confidence each time there is success. On the other hand, failure is not the end of the road. For a leader, it is not a failure to fall down; only to stay down. Therefore no matter how hard the loss, defeat shapes the leader as well as victory. A leader can’t be afraid to take a big step when needed. One can’t jump over a canyon using small steps.

A good leader inspires others with confidence in him; a great leader inspires them with confidence in themselves. When such a leader isn’t afraid to tackle a difficult problem, those following will be inspired to tackle hard problems themselves. Leaders take action while others hesitate; but the ones who hesitate may well realize what is possible when they see the leader in action.

So my question to you is, what is a leader? Define what type(s) of leader(s) are needed to help change a person, a neighborhood... a community.