The word “leadership” is practically an overused cliché these days. Some people believe that America’s politicians are leaders (mostly NOT), and the definition of REAL leadership has grown fuzzy and illusive.

From my perspective as an extreme leader, leadership is inspired from the outside the leader, but its energy and capability lie inside the leader. Most of the engagement of leadership involves leading something, someone, or a group of people (tribe). So there must be an object or an organization to lead. Otherwise, the leader is merely going on a walk, alone.

Visualize a crusader, who is fixed on a mission. The mission involves something that the crusader is committed to changing, altering, or optimizing. The connotation of changing something in this context is outward; the crusader is committed to changing something(s) into what THEY want them / it to be.

But the crusader will not be successful if he or she is not driven to implement the change. The capability and commitment toward this implementation lie at the core of the character of the leader.

Are leaders born, or can they be trained?
A great deal of leadership involved personality, attitude, and confidence. Can someone change their personality? Somewhat, but they must remain congruent with who they really are at their core. Leaders do not “try” to lead, because they see others doing it. They are inspired to lead, and can lead in many ways, including openly, forcefully, enthusiastically, and passionately, but also quietly, confidently, assertively, and deliberately.

Leadership must be experienced. You can’t speak (or write) about leadership; it is something that must happen. Leadership is an activity, which must be undertaken. There is nothing static about leadership; a crusader is action-oriented, and always has an objective in mind.

My personal journey of crusader-level leadership development stems from a timeline that began in military high school, when I discovered my essence and capability of leadership. I was driven toward implementing my newly-instilled ideals of honor, courage, integrity, and commitment, and at the age of 16, initially became repulsed over how such a small segment of society shared those values. So my crusade began.

Through peer leadership in my social fraternity at university, to community leadership of professional organizations, as well as athletic achievement with teams, by the time I was 25, I needed a larger forum. So I joined the United States Marine Corps, accepting a commission as a logistics officer, and my journey of “extreme” leadership began.  Carrying this ethic forward into corporate America, and into entrepreneurship, I accepted some leadership challenges that jaded me against a system, which I became committed to changing.

My crusade is now advancing globally, as I accept the challenge to educate, motivate, and inspire leaders across the planet to stand up and implement their ideals, my cause / crusade driving me the whole way.

So when it comes to leadership, reflect on YOUR journey; your crusade. What do YOU stand against, and what are you committed to changing? Do you have what it takes? Whether or not you were “born” a leader, it’s time to reach deep down inside and discover your power, strengths, and capabilities as a leader by EXPERIENCING leadership.

BE A LEADER by STEPPING UP, and taking on a crusade, focusing on being the change that you want to see in the world. Exercise your leadership. Get a leadership mentor. Experience yourself – your TRUE self – and take on the challenge.

WE NEED YOU, CRUSADER! Now is the time!