Lessons in Leadership – At a Moment’s Notice

[Number 3 in a series]

Leadership is not always a matter of well-established relationships – sometimes it is required at a moment’s notice. How many times have you come across a traffic accident shortly after it happened? What happens with the people not involved? While often there will be some folks with first aid training and equipment who will jump right in and tend to the injured, most people will just stand around doing nothing but watching and getting in the way. These are people who would gladly help out, but they need direction in order to do so. They need a leader to step in and make things happen. Someone needs to take charge and get the traffic moving so the emergency vehicles don’t have to deal with a traffic jam. It takes no special skill – anyone can use arm motions and direct traffic, and the drivers stuck in traffic will be grateful. It is a simple thing to do; people are available to do it; they need someone to put them to work. Take the leadership role and make things happen.

One example from my own life happened in November 2006 when I was driving and watched as a car ran into a very deep drainage pond. I and several others went into the water to try to get the occupants out. When it was all over with, the car went to the bottom with two people still inside, one made it out, one did not, and there were about a half dozen of us still in the water needing to get out. The problem was that the bank was steep and slippery, and we became trapped ourselves. Not being anything but in the way at this point, I asked some folks standing on the ground to form a human chain by linking hands so that we could get the people out of the water. They were glad to be able to help, and those of us shivering in the water were glad to be helped. The point, again, is that people want to help – they just need someone to take charge and make things happen.

Lessons Learned:

  • The need for leadership can come up when you least expect it.
  • Be prepared to take charge at a moment’s notice when needed.
  • Don’t be timid and wait for someone else to do something. It is you they are waiting for.
  • People want to help. The just need direction. They need leadership.

About Stephen Clay McGehee

Born-Again Christian, Grandfather, husband, business owner, Southerner, aspiring Southern Gentleman. Publisher of The Confederate Colonel and The Southern Agrarian blogs. President/Owner of Adjutant Workshop, Inc., Vice President - Gather The Fragments Bible Mission, Inc. (Sierra Leone, West Africa), Webmaster - Military Order of The Stars and Bars, Kentucky Colonel.
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