“It’s simple, you have one of three choices, LEAD, FOLLOW, or GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY!”  I still hear those words as loud as the first time my U.S. Army Colonel father spoke them.


So where do you fit in?   Life has taught me a few things about when to do which – as it pertains to my father’s three choices. Along the way, I have also discovered a fourth choice – “DO”.  It’s the purgatory of LEAD, FOLLOW, or GET OF THE WAY.  In this post I’ll discuss the top 5 things that need to be in action to begin to lead. 


Should you LEAD?

Do you have a PASSION for what you are doing?

Passion is the effervescent foundation of leadership.  It supersedes enjoyment and brings the individual to a near euphoria of wanting to act upon the desire. Passion is key if you seek to lead.


“I’m simply wild about cooking!  I find the blending of flavors and textures inspiring.  I want others to enjoy culinary cuisine at its finest.”


What is the VISION of your goal?

Without a clear vision, passion can fade over time as frustration sets in with the lack of direction in which to steer the passion.  Knowing your destination is necessary to build a roadmap to get there.


“In my mind’s eye, I see myself as an owner of a boutique farm to table restaurant in Hometown, USA where diners will feast among friends and each morsel will bring a smile to their face.”


What is your level of EXPERTISE?

It will be hard to lead if you are a novice in something.  Mistakes must be made.  Failures will fuel a clearer vision of the future.  Work tirelessly to test and retest your expertise in the field you are passionate about.  As you become the expert, others will follow your lead, seeking your knowledge or inspiration.


“I’ve been perfecting recipes for a decade and have just released a book dedicated to the people and foods that have inspired me.”


Are you willing and able to SHARE or TEACH others?

 When you find yourself with a following, it is important to use your leadership in a way that can teach others how to accomplish something for themselves and/or others.  Your purpose becomes clearer when others can learn from you to pursue their own dreams.


“I chose the farm to table concept to inspire a reconnection with Mother Earth. When you taste fresh ingredients, the meal takes on a whole new flavor.  It is my hope the memory of that flavor encourages us to do more to protect our resources.”



Putting others first demonstrates that you are a leader who sees beyond themselves.  Your purpose takes on a whole new meaning and the vision moves from being a destination to a journey.


“There is no need for the children of this nation to go hungry.  We have the resources and the means to stop this.  I am taking a portion of my earnings and setting it aside to support ending child hunger.  I will also host a summercamp for kids to learn about gardening, healthy eating and meal preparation.”


 In our follow up post we’ll explore the top 5 things to consider when it is time to FOLLOW as well as the “purgatory of doing”.   If you’re in Northern Virginia on August 15th, please join us for Success Series at Army Navy Country Club.  Participate in our workshop topic on choosing to lead or follow led by Tina Fox.



"Lead or Not to Lead" - By Donna Hoffman - - Comments Off on Lead or Not to Lead Comments