A while ago I decided that I wanted to get my captain’s license and be the captain of my own boat. I went to Amazon and purchased many books on being a captain and seamanship. I read, learned the terms of the sea, I even went and hung out at the marina a few times. The problem came when I found out that I had to take a test and get certified to be a captain. It was going to take months and possibly years for this to take place. So I decided to go in another direction.

I decided that it would be much easier to become a leader. I went back to Amazon and found out that there are a lot more books for leadership than there was for being a boat captain. I read and found out that leaders have traits such as self-confidence, integrity, inspiring, trustworthy-ness, etc… I decided that I would try to work on all of these and learn about them.

I also found out that there are specific behaviors that leaders model. Leaders are able to get tasks done, they are able to make decisions, they also can keep the group focused. I decided that I would learn more about each of these behaviors and I would try to perfect them.

After much reading and studying about leaders, this is what I found out. It is quite possible to learn a ton of information about leadership, to know all of the leadership lingo, to even go to the leadership marina (conferences) and still not be a leader.

The one thing that is missing in the arena of leadership training is the act of leading. What I would like to add from all of my reading is this. Leaders are actively involved in leading. Leaders lead.

If you are not currently involved in leading then you are, by definition, not a leader. You might know all of the methods of leading but until you take your skills out into open water and put them into practice, you are just a knowledgable leadership fan.

This weeks experiment. Are you leading, or are you just learning about leadership?