About leadership

In all the talk of leadership, we overemphasize the big things. And yet, it is only from the small that the great arises.

When we are drying our hands in the restroom, do we also pick the paper towels near the trash left by others? When we pass a sullied stall, do we take the liberty to flush it? None of this will elevate our reputation or outwardly benefit us, but will we do it? Or will we say, “the janitor will do it?”

It is habitual today to only do what furthers our reputation and directly benefits us, or at best act and then draw attention to it. But then the motive is corrupted and the enthusiasm ebbs and flows based on who sees and affirms it.

Look at the flowers in the field and stars in the sky, they grow just as beautiful and twinkle just as bright whether or not anyone sees them. And so it is with everything natural. But we are no longer natural, for recognition from others is almost a precondition for our genuine effort.

If so, what value is all this fancy talk of leadership? If we cannot master little things, who are we fooling with dramatic testimonies? Only when we learn to do the smallest things, and are content with our reward being a silent peace of soul and the awareness of benefiting others, are we ripe for leadership in the big things.

~Ikenna Q. Ezealah

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