We’ve come full circle with respect to our premises. Everyday situations that call for leadership show us that everyone is a potential leader (“everyone has an impact on those we touch”). When we exercise leadership in unexpected situations, we potentially find our calling and our bliss (“leadership should be associated with self-expansion”).
Bill is often asked how he moved into academic leadership positions, and whether he had always planned to become a university president. The answer, which many find curious, is that there never was a plan, other than to take an interest in what was going on around him, and to volunteer himself when opportunities to learn about, or to contribute to, the university came up.
You too should embrace opportunities for situational leadership whenever they come up. Don’t be like Ben Stein’s disaffected students in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off who ignore repeated chances to contribute to a discussion about economics during the Great Depression. “Anyone? Anyone?” the teacher asks over and over, without hearing any response.
Be the one who raises his hand. Get involved and take on additional responsibility so that you can discover more about your abilities and interests.