Young Tom was chatting to his mentor, Dwyer, about his future career options.

“I think that I could be a great leader one day!” Tom proudly announced.

“OK, well I think that I could be a bullfrog one day,”  responded Dwyer.

Dwyer often came out with seemingly absurd statements and they continually frustrated and confused his younger protegé.

“Don’t be ridiculous, I really think that I could be a leader one day, you could never be a bullfrog,” retorted Tom.

“If you can think that you can be a leader, why can’t I think that I could be a bullfrog?”

“Because you can’t think your way to being a bullfrog.  You either are or you aren’t,” responded Tom.

“You’re right Tom and you can’t think your way to being a leader, you just have to be one,” said Dwyer with a smile.

Tom thought for a few moments, then asked, “But I’m young, how can I be a leader?”

“Leaders are leaders, no matter how old they are or what their circumstances are.  You can positively influence your peers to make better decisions, find a cause worth bringing attention to or work with others to find innovative solutions to challenging problems.  Whatever you do, stop thinking about being a leader and just lead!”

Over the years and in a range of contexts I’ve met a lot of people who thought they could be leaders, public speakers, writers or business owners.

They waited to be chosen.

And waited and waited and waited.

And when nothing happened, they couldn’t understand why.

This is why.

They thought that they could be something, but they never took action towards it.

So, what ever you want to be… just be.

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