Tom Haupt: Why are Most People Followers and Not Leaders?

Tom Haupt

A few weeks ago, I stated I would have several guest posts from some of my personal mentors. Tom Haupt is someone I met at a corporate team building event, has been a personal mentor of mine for over three years, and has an amazing way of stretching me to find the right answers to the challenges I face. I hope you all find value in his current post.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Thomas Alva Edison

Time Out! Book

I have probably read or heard the previous quote at least 50 times or more in the last few years alone. It’s been tweeted, posted on Facebook, shared on LinkedIn, written about in blogs and repeated at various trainings I’ve attended. And every time I hear or read it I think, why do people keep misquoting this great American inventor Thomas Edison? Why won’t someone actually take the time to look up what Mr. Edison actually said and not simply re-quote a misquote? Then it hit me, it’s just easier to follow then it is to lead.

So I ask you, why are most people followers and not leaders? Is it because leading is harder, tougher, or just plain scary? Is it because leading is outside most people’s comfort zone or because they don’t know what leading looks like? Here’s what I think. Leading is challenging, it’s uncomfortable, there’s no rule book for it, and it’s the biggest risk you can take in life. It takes a commitment to want to lead regardless of whether you’re doing it “right”. In other words, it takes effort.

I’ve met so many people over the years in traveling the world asking for the secret sauce, the silver bullet, and the “strategy” to get rich, skinny and happy. Now I’m no guru however what I’ve learned in my life that works is to stop looking outside for the proverbial answers to being a leader and start looking inside. Be a leader of self, take yourself on and take some risks in life. You actually have all the answers you need to lead, so trust yourself and take an action step into the unknown. That’s what a risk is, it’s an action step into the unknown!

Keep in mind, there is no easy and there is no hard in life. That’s just judgment and it’s what other people keep writing and talking about. If I hear one more time how, “life’s hard or life’s not easy” my head might explode. Be a leader and not a follower and take yourself on. Stop following the crowd and what everyone else is saying and doing. Get committed to what your deepest desires are and achieve your goals and dreams. Be the leader you desire to be and step up in your life. It’s not hard.

Here’s my Take a Risk Action Challenge for you. Set 1 goal around each of the four areas of your life. Your health, wealth, faith and relationships for 2013. These 4 goals need to be specific, measurable, attainable, risky and with a timetable. Make them a 1 year goal and break that goal down into 4 quarterly goals. By doing so, it will keep you on track with the overall goal and you’ll be able to make adjustments accordingly in your efforts throughout the year.

In closing, peace be with you during this holiday season and may you be blessed in 2013 beyond your wildest dreams!

Oh, and by the way, straight from the Thomas Edison website, the quote is “Results? Why, man, I have gotten lots of results! If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is often a step forward….”

Embrace Risk, Embrace Success – Tom Haupt     

Tom Haupt

Tom Haupt, Co-Founder and Lead Trainer/Speaker

As an internationally recognized leadership expert, trainer, executive coach and best-selling author in the arena of leadership and personal development, Tom Haupt is co-founder and CEO of Haupt International Leadership Training, an organization dedicated to transforming the culture and workforce of companies from compliance to commitment.

Tom has been training on foundational leadership principles to support paradigm shifts with CEOs and their executive teams to create healthy, successful companies around the world. As a result of his 30 plus years of experience as a business owner and entrepreneur, Tom can customize specific programs that fit his client’s business needs to accelerate the results his clients require. He has worked on 3 continents, in 20 countries and in over 134 cities worldwide training and speaking to leaders about how to overcome self-limiting beliefs to be more personally responsible and effective in their personal and professional life.

Over the years, Tom has transitioned from training front-line leaders to working directly with CEOs and business owners through his executive coaching and mentorship. His leadership trainings are customized experiential corporate trainings and through high-quality resources in the form of audio and video trainings based on his highly-acclaimed books, Time-Out! Winning Strategies for Playing a Bigger Game in Life and soon to be released, Herding Cats and Pushing a Rope Up a Hill, Transforming Your Companies Culture From Compliance to Commitment.

Tom’s work has been featured in various publications such as Accomplish Magazine, Brilliant Results Magazine and Motivated Magazine.

Troy Dooly is recognized internationally as an influencer in the areas of personal branding, leadership development, marketing campaigns, organizational expansion, and corporate launch strategies. Dooly is a speaker, results coach, and radio host. He is a founding member, show host (Beachside CEO) and News Director of the Home Business Radio Network. He is a founding member, and currently serves on the Board of the Association of Network Marketing Professionals