Leadership is not about standing in the spotlight and talking about yourself. Leadership is getting others to stand in the spotlight and empowering them to share their gifts. The stage is a platform from which one can preach or engage. If you find yourself talking about ‘my’ or ‘I’, perhaps your motivation is the celebrity of the title and the accoutrements of office. If you speak about ‘we’ and ‘us’ then you are representing the tribe that is united around a belief. Leaders work the spotlight seamlessly, moving its beam to illuminate the highlights of those who have volunteered. Leaders stand it the spotlight’s glare when accountability is needed, apologizes are required, and contrition is appropriate. If you find yourself squinting, perhaps you need to exit stage left and allow the talents of your team to shine. Our job as leaders is to cast the roles and direct the play, not take the lead.
I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.