founder of naked leader

Leadership from a different perspective – James Eder

Naked Leader Week – 76 – Monday 25 October 2004

To rekindle A Naked Leader Week, James Eder writes from Columbia…

Leadership from a different perspective – James Eder

Why should we be the leaders that we already are?

 When I was Young

‘When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits,

I dreamed of changing the world.

As I grew older and wiser; I realised the world would not change.

And I decide to shorten my sights somewhat and change only my country.

But it seemed immovable.

As I entered my twilight years, in one and desperate attempt,

I sought to change only my family, those closest to me.

But alas they would have none of it.

And now here I lie in my death bed

And realise,

Perhaps for the first time,

That if only I had changed myself first,

Then by example I may have influence my family

And with their encouragement and support I may have bettered my Country.

And who knows,

I may have changed the World.’

Catholic Bishop – Written Around 1100 AD

After speaking with many people it appears that although many strive for change, attending courses and reading self development books many people simply do not apply these changes.

– Just take a moment if you will to think what you have done to enhance yourself?

– Now think have you really applied what you have learnt?

I know I am not the only one to have read, heard or seen something that I thought was truly great and could have had a large impact on my life or place of work and then not followed through because it seemed too hard. Is it really that hard to make changes?

General consensus I have realised is we apparently don’t have time to make these great changes to our lives. Still thinking about a potential change you left behind – think what would happen if you implemented that now?

Being the best you already are and being remarkable are for me one and the same. (For being remarkable see The Purple Cow by Seth Godin.) Leadership for me is the potential impact you can have on those people you come in contact with. Everyday we come in contact with people, some we know and many more we don’t. We also have choices and I believe that leadership relates back to the choices and opportunities that we are presented with. You may be presented with a difficult situation – but how you deal with the situation or problem is what really counts.

Why worry if there is nothing you can do about it? Think about a time this week, or even today when you have spent time either worrying about something or being angry when there is simply nothing you can do about it.

Who am I to talk about Leadership?

I am writing this from me to you, as someone who stumbled across an organisation when I began University that has given me the opportunity to work with people in so many different ways that I have seen people change.

AIESEC is the world’s largest Student Run organisation now operating in over 84 countries, developing individuals, communities and co-operation through global exchange. It is the drive, passion and network that aim’s to develop people to create agents of positive change.

(See for more information).

As I write this from Colombia I am a live experience of the opportunities AIESEC provides people – on a sponsored programme supported by British Airways I was sent to Colombia this summer with five other Students from AIESEC in the United Kingdom. I was sent to live and work in Barranquilla in the north on the Atlantic coast. Everyday with new experiences based at the University sharing my business skills with a local foundation helping them to try to raise additional funds.

See for further detail of my work out there.

More than simply provide me with this opportunity I have been fortunate enough to have been on a team of people driving AIESEC in Birmingham forward last year, recruiting new members, training them and seeing some of them stand for a leadership position on the local team. As I prepare for my final year at University I know these years of my life I have tried to fill and make the most of every opportunity.

The question that I think is so important is what can we do? What can you do? How can you push yourself? My biggest fear is to leave University and be cocooned by the normalities of daily life and not being able to have an impact – while I know it will be hard I am ready for that challenge – what can you do today to make a difference – think about your consumption habits – if everyone consumed the way you do how would the world look?

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by those that you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain


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