The Proven Path to Leadership


Image source

Don’t push people into leading. Desire to lead is leadership’s first requirement. If they don’t desire leadership, step away. Reluctant leaders are burdens to colleagues, followers, and organizations.

If they desire leadership but feel anxiety, don’t worry! Desire includes anxiety.

Follow the desire to lead;
face anxiety as you go.

I remember an emerging leader who said he wanted to lead but didn’t want people to expect anything from him. He didn’t realize how ridiculous he sounded. Thankfully, he matured through his apprehensions.


Growth always creates anxiety. New challenges bring feelings of inadequacy. Press through inadequacies with preparation, relationships, and courage.

Press through anxiety or
the current world becomes permanent.

The path:

Address apprehensions with a proven path to leadership.

“There is no magic formula that says if you do this you’ll lead effectively. But there is a magic formula to get there and it is very, very dependable.” Dr. Henry Cloud

The big four:

Dr. Cloud explains four necessary building blocks to become a leader:

  1. Relationships: We develop in the context of relationships. Find mentors, coaches, advisors, and guides.
  2. Information: Learn everything you can about leading. “Do your homework.” Attend conferences and read books.
  3. Experience: Learn to lead by leading. Seize opportunities like volunteering, for example.
  4. Structure: Schedule leadership development activities. Development is an intention not an accident. Take yourself to lunch once a month, for example.

Listen to Dr. Cloud in his own words:

Development resource: One hour conversation with Dr. Henry Cloud on Boundaries for Leaders.