Sometimes we are tempted to think of leadership as a silo and leaders as pillars that stand alone. I don’t think that’s true. In fact, I think a leader that stands alone is probably not a great leader, but just a person with power. Having power, wealth, and influence doesn’t make someone a great leader, and it doesn’t mean they are worthy to be followed.
I have been fortunate to know several great leaders and call them friends, and I can tell you that the great leaders, the leaders that deserve your respect and admiration, are leaders that bring others with them. 48in48 is a great example of this.
When Jeff Hilimire approached me about 48in48, I thought it was a great idea, and I was in to help immediately. We dove into working on the idea and planning out the technology, and at the time I saw myself is the first volunteer, nothing more. I remember one day Jeff and I were meeting with someone about the project, and he introduced me as the Co-Founder of 48in48. To be honest, I didn’t see that coming; I was just happy to be helping. Jeff could have been the Founder, but being a great leader, he has a habit of bringing other with him, sharing the spotlight. In this case, I got the opportunity and am thankful for it.
A similar thing happened with Sanjay Parekh when we decided to start Tech Talk Y’all. We were hanging out and talking about podcasting, and Sanjay looked at me and said, “I’m thinking of starting a podcast, do you want to do it with me?” He could have been the sole host and just had me as a guest, but Sanjay wanted to bring me with him. And, the podcast ride has been great!
These are just two examples of countless leaders that have poured into me ranging from my High School Small Business teacher to college professors, to my city’s Mayor and everything in between. Time and again the best leaders I know always try to help others.