How Far Can Leaders Take You? … How Far Can You Take Yourself?

Vantage Points Header Joel Elveson

As kids many of us played a game called Follow The Leader. The idea behind the game was as the title suggests you followed the leader whereupon you did what the leader did or told you to do and literally followed the leader wherever he or she took you. Rarely did you question why are we going in “X” direction or why are we doing what we are doing. We did and followed as that what we thought we were supposed to be doing.

Leaders are those rare breed of people who lift people up and get them to take themselves to heights they never thought they could reach on their own. Leaders have different styles of leadership but the end result is that they lift you up. Could you have reached the same heights had you not fell under the leadership of this individual? If you answer yes than your success was as much due to your own drive and guile as opposed to what the leaders leadership did for you. If you answered no you could not have reached the same heights had you not encountered and worked with this leader then it is clear you were reached by one of those select few exceptional leaders.

Let me ask you to ponder this question to which there is no incorrect answer to. My question to you is how far can you take yourself? Take a peek inside yourself and seriously inquire of yourself as to how far you can take yourself. Think of your goals in life in general while looking at the results so far to date and try to make a determination whether or not what you have accomplished in your life at this moment is where you want to be.

If you will circle back to the question of how far can leaders take you? We know much depends on a myriad of factors but once again I will ask you to answer (there is no incorrect answer to this question either) the following: How far can leaders take you or how far can you expect leaders to take you? How far do you think a leader take himself? To be redundant there are myriads of variables that will affect the performance of a leader not to mention answers to this question. A special leader can take you to points in your life that you never thought possible as mentioned previously. The most accurate barometer of the success (or failure of a leader) is how the people he or she are doing in terms of are they reaching their potential or just following along due to an inability to come up with comprehensive ideas or concepts to better or further themselves. Too many people latch on to certain leaders not because they believe in that person or that person has such exemplary leadership skills that you are drawn to their magnetism but rather it’s more of a matter of needing to be led.

Leaders have to have that certain something within themselves that motivates or allows them to be somebody others want to emulate. That ability to reach people to make them believe that they can believe in the leader and ultimately themselves as well is what along with other intangibles that separate leaders from the rest of us. You must be careful to differentiate a leader from somebody who under the umbrella of leadership ultimately becomes somebody you are dependent upon to make every decision for you as you can’t do so on your own. A real leader will never allow you to become their puppet.

Kudos goes out to leaders for what they do. They are either born with this gift or developed it as they grew up in life. Either way when you follow (not blindly) a leader chances are you are headed in the right direction as they can empower you for betterment in all aspects of your life. This scenario plays itself out on a daily basis where a leader enriches your life. Once cautionary statement I will throw out to you with regards to leaders which would be even they have a saturation point. That point when reached is when the leader must relinquish his leadership role as there is nothing more to give or have the capability to give.

What about you now? Have you come to an internal settlement as to how far you can take yourself? To accurately answer this question you must first be conscious of the fact that some of the plateaus you have set for yourself may not be obtainable. We all set goals for ourselves not only for where we want to be, who we want to be but also what we want materialistically out of life. Just how close can you come to seeing your sights settle on all that you had hoped for.

The good dreams we dream are the ones we want to come true. A while ago I referenced leaders having a saturation point where once reached they cannot continue to lead. Is your saturation point that time you feel incapable of achieving more? What is your process for deciding when you have reached that saturation point? Does the dashing of some of your dreams destroy you internally or can you adjust and go on knowing still you have gone further than you really thought you had any right thinking you can go there.

In reality it is actually a moot point to expect yourself to answer how the how far can you take yourself question, as many of us don’t know our limits of potential. Clearly based on genetics in conjunction with other factors some people are born with limitations that will only allow them to grow to a certain point that when reached all growth stops forever. The most talented leader cannot take you beyond that point if in fact that is the case with you.

So just how far can you expect a leader to take you? At the end of an individuals’ reign as leader is done what barometer are you going to hold to him as to the success or failure of his leadership tenure? At that time when you in a sense signed up for the ride you obviously had expectations or at least hopes and dreams as to where you can be taken or just what this leadership can mean to you. Now the final curtain has come down and you now need to ask yourself through self-empowering techniques that were undoubtedly employed by the leader how far you could have taken yourself under the same circumstances that the leader lead you under had you gone through it all getting by with all the resources that G-d gave you?


Joel Elveson
Joel Elveson
INDEPENDENT Executive Recruiting By Joel is an "up and coming" Executive Search Firm formed and headed up by Joel Elveson whose visionary ideas, leadership & creativity have brought to life a more "user-friendly" approach to recruiting. His clients and candidates form powerful strategic partnerships that we use to help you. Joel’s Firm offers Permanent, Temporary (case by case), & Temporary To Permanent staffing solutions for all of your Human Capital Requirements. Contract IT/Consultants are available if needed. Above and beyond they are experts (by way of their personal industry work experience) with mortgage, mortgage banking, middle-market banking, accounting, along with many others under the vast financial spectrum of disciplines. Their business goes beyond candidate recruiting as they also train, mentor and develop your internal recruiting staff with an eye towards helping you reduce the cost of hiring. They will also work in areas such as compensation, effective onboarding processes and alike. In other words, their business is to help your business by becoming an extension of you by filling in gaps that cause delay or waste. The recruiting methods employed by Joel’s team are time tested that results in a high rate of successful placements. Joel was trained in the art of recruiting by some of the top staffing industry executives in addition to the best recruiter trainers who to this day drive me to exceed the lofty goals he has set forth.

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  1. I feel the key to good leadership is providing good guidelines and communicate those guidelines to your followers. Guidelines can be principles, rules, procedure, etc. Keeping them guessing is good for comedy and dating, but not so for a leader.

    • Chris, thank you for your very pertinent comments. Leaders can be very valuable as well as necessary. My question is where could you go or what would you have accomplished had not had a leader. In a work environment, the leader is usually the boss. A unit head or department head may be classified as a leader but in the purest sense of the word, they are not. So it also has to be ascertained who is this leader and under what pretense is he is leading. Thank you again, Chris.