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Others May You Cannot

AT age 15 I received at tract from Pastor Jerry Mitchell entitled, "Others May You Cannot." Pastor Mitchell would often visit Detroit from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and believed I was destined for greatness. He would speak to me about leadership and teach me about the character of a man in authority. That was a lot for a 15 year old and I did not understand much of the words. Recently, I found the tract and every bit of it has manifested in my life. I have become a leader and fully understand the wisdom in this little brochure.


Leaders cannot do what others do. Leaders are set apart and uniquely called for a specific purpose. Leaders move, motivate, and mobilize people. Leadership is a calling and cannot be mastered by everyone. Leadership will challenge you, stretch you, hurt you, and isolate you. The authority given to leaders puts you at the top of a long tier of responsibilities. Leadership makes you and holds you accountable to people and yourself. Leaders walk with a high regard for people and possess a conviction of character making them sensitive to their thoughts, words, and actions.


The night I graduated from high school I went to a graduation party hosted by a classmate. I was sitting at a table when an attractive young woman sat by me. In my excitement I decided to speak to her and tried to charm her. She interrupted my weak and pathetic game and said the following, "Excuse me. I am not trying to be rude, but you do not belong here. You look out of place." I wasn't offended, but was guided to the tract Pastor Mitchell gave me. I never set foot in a club or such establishment after that.


I tell leaders I coach that it is more important to be respected than be liked. Leaders don't please people. Leaders set standards. Leaders stand out. Leaders do not try to fit in. Leaders don't follow the crowd. Leaders influence the crowd. Leaders are often left alone when people realize they cannot be compromised. Before my wife and I open gifts at Christmas we share one thing we are thankful for in each other. In 2021, my wife told me she was thankful that I am consistent. Consistency is a powerful attribute of a leader.


Many leaders struggle with the isolation and loneliness of being at the top. Heavy is the head that wears the crown. It is hard to go against the grain especially when you stand on your principles. I remember having a conversation with my son when he struggled with peer pressure. I shared my values and beliefs on right and wrong. My son said, "Dad, people don't think like that anymore." I told him, "That does not mean I am wrong." Yes, others may but you cannot. This world needs leaders in every arena. If you have leadership authority and positions of influence, stay on top. Stick to it. Don't let people back you into a corner or force you to compromise your standards. Like the eagle, fly high and into the sun.


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