When I teach at a conference or go to a book signing, people sometimes confide in me that they desire to write books too.
“How do I get started?” they ask.
“How much writing do you do now?” I ask in return.
Some tell me about articles and other pieces they are writing, and I simply encourage them; but most of the time they sheepishly respond, “Well, I haven’t really written anything yet.”
“Then you need to start writing,” I explain. “You’ve got to start small and work up to it.”
Leadership is the same. You’ve got to start small and work up to it. A person who has never led before needs to try to influence one other person. Someone who has some influence should try to build a team. Just start with what’s necessary.
St. Francis of Assisi said:
“Start doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
All good leadership begins where you are.
It was Napoleon who said:
“The only conquests which are permanent and leave no regrets are our conquests over ourselves.”
The small responsibilities you have before you now comprise the first great leadership conquest you must make. Don’t try to conquer the world until you’ve taken care of things in your own backyard.
—The 360° Leader , John C. Maxwell