You Can Be A Leader, No Matter What!

When I was in first grade, I used to always want to be the line leader in class. I would get fussy and sometimes even get into mischief when I wasn’t the line leader. But my teacher Mrs. Flayton would say to me, as she often said to the whole class, “David, you can be a leader, no matter what.” She would tell us all, that even if we weren’t the line leader, we could all set a good example for others, guide others to do the right thing, and become young leaders. Mrs. Flayton drilled those words into us all: You can be a leader, no matter what.

Thirty years later, after leading two companies and more important, a family, and after writing about leadership in books, for Inc Magazine and here on LinkedIn, those words resonate with me as much as ever.
I sat down with LinkedIn’s Executive Editor Dan Roth last week, to talk about likeable leadership. We talked about the values of listening and gratefulness. I shared what I’ve learned from great leaders such as Michael Dell, Cary Chessick, and Sheldon Yellen (pictured below). The full video is above.

I feel blessed to have written the most popular leadership article ever on LinkedIn, 11 Simple Concepts To Become a Better Leader. I am certain that as social media continues to make this world more transparent, that the “command and control” aspect of leadership will fade away, and the qualities of a likeable leader will increasingly become more important.
You can be a likeable leader, whether the group you’re leading is your company, your team, your department or your family. You can be a leader, even if you are simply setting a good example for the people around you.
I am certain as ever, that as Mrs. Flayton told a bunch of five and six year olds,
You can be a leader, no matter what.

Dave Kerpen
CEO, Likeable Local, NY Times Best-Selling Author & Keynote Speaker


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