Making the First Move

If you don’t move first you aren’t leading. But, don’t move first every time.

Passion, vision, and compassion propel leadership-action. Leaders step in where others step back.

All leaders move toward:

  1. Opportunity.
  2. Challenge.
  3. Change.
  4. Achievement.

Wise leaders move toward:

  1. People over opportunities. People are leadership’s greatest opportunity, period.
  2. Failure. Failure isn’t sought it’s leveraged. Fools run from failure. Leaders fail well because failure is progress. Leaders peel the scab off, learn and go.
  3. Conflict. Clarity is the child of conflict used well.
  4. Listening.
  5. Collaboration.
  6. Apology.

Bonus: Move first toward those who offend you.

“Wise” applies best to the second list because it’s not intuitive.

Foolish leaders prefer telling to listening, for example. Additionally, wise leaders learn apologizing first is strength not weakness.

About the first list:

Focus is the hardest part of passion.

Unfocused passion, vision, and compassion are the enemies of success. Selective wisdom is the mother of success. Unfocused passion is the father of destruction. Inexperienced leaders act like squirrels on steroids when new opportunities emerge.

My problem is I’ve never seen an opportunity I didn’t like.


Your inclination to move first invites resistance because it destabilizes, disturbs, and disrupts. You may wrongly view resistance as the enemy. Move toward resistance. Pushing through resistance is the pursuit of alignment.

The twist:

All leaders move first but wise leaders learn the power of moving second. It’s not natural, but, wise leaders learn to be first at letting others go first. View moving second as leadership development – enhancing capacity – not passive resignation.

What are the dangers or frustrations of moving first?

How can leaders move first in ways that bring others with them?