This is where many leaders spend the bulk of their time, and it is without question a crucial element of the leader’s job description. In most instances, to lead is to help others become better versions of themselves. It was Andy Janning that first got me thinking about this, but this concept can be seen in organizations, families, society, and even film. Andy pointed out that many heroic leaders in movies – think William Wallace in Braveheart, Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings, or Morpheus in The Matrix, for example – do just this within the context of their stories. They encounter others, inspire them, lead them, and help them become – and this is important to note – not different people, but rather, better versions of the people they already are.

That is to say, leaders do not change what is inside individuals; they do not change their makeup. Instead, they help individuals see and realize their potential. Rather than dehumanizing them by dictating, they free them to become more appropriately human. They free them to become better versions of who they already are. They free them to be who they were meant to be. Read fellow Trailblazer 40 Below Matt Monge’s complete blog post.