"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
Empowerment lives through action. A leader is a dreamer and an innovator who gains knowledge from the past influences humankind in the present and creates opportunities for the future. An effective leader grows through actions, patience, outcomes, and develops unique skill-sets for capturing the attention. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. not only preached but also stood in the front lines and became the embodiment of the Civil Rights Movement. He empowered others by first empowering himself.
Leaders are human, and leadership is not about perfectionism. Those who would be leaders must experience the greater world because living revolves around trusting yourself as well as others. Trusting is a skill that requires faith, commitment, and time. Yet, sometimes trust is not rewarded and failure is often the bottom result. Wisdom knows that mistakes are lessons in life which force us to internal growth. Consider that shame is not a good motivator and that failure should be seen as an organic process of such growth. Recognizing this, a leader must seize the opportunities created by failure. As a believer, she/he plants seeds and gardens them with intent to reap. Integrity is one of the four cornerstones of leadership; the one that ought to be grounded in self-discipline and with accountability. Every experience is the fruit of labor and therefore earned wealth.
Manifesting the process of success builds a momentum for celebration. Nurturing this momentum in each individual contributor means that an excellent leader will never rest from leading for he/she knows that success lies in the high-road. Leaders should seek to coordinate the aspirations of their people in striving for the best because wisdom often comes from communal interaction. However, let us not forget that leadership involves pain… as Collin Powell expressed, “Sometimes leadership can be lonely.” You cannot empower others if you do not empower yourself.