Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.

Tom Peters

Toastmaster’s Speech: Pathways Visionary Communication

Level 2 Project – Speech 1: Understanding your leadership Style


Leading with Integrity

I am beginning to understand my leadership style and it is not easy. It has taken my whole life to get to this point, and it is with that knowledge and experience that I come to understand the purpose of leadership. Leadership is like parenting or caregiving. You have something. You give it to someone. You let them go.

The goal of leadership is not to have followers or admirers. The goal isn’t to be envied or liked. The real purpose of good leadership is to change the world. With or without credit. Change it willingly or unwillingly.  The purpose of leading is to make things better than when we found them.

Leaders don’t create followers. Rulers do.

Leaders create more leaders. Leaders give of themselves and let go.

There are many leaders that I have grown to admire. My mother and father for sure, but there are so many others. Leaders from so many areas of life. Men and women who have inspired me to be great. I could spend my time and energy by presenting you with a litany of names or I could simply pick one and identify their greatness.

Mahatma Gandhi.

I have admired this brown skinned, Hindu, London educated lawyer and civil rights leader, since my early twenties. I have admired him because he left the world better than when he found it. When he was unknown and unrecognized, he didn’t try to fit in or convince people of his value, he simply went somewhere else and decided to serve those that wanted to be served. Gandhi began his great wave of leadership in South Africa. It was his work there that led to his battle against the British Commonwealth, which ultimate resulted in an Independent India.

I model my leadership style after Mahatma Gandhi.

I think I am an effective communicator. I lead by example. I go where I am wanted and in the last few years I have learned that its tremendously important to be open to change. To be open to new ways of doing old things. Sometimes its not about doing something better. Sometimes you have to do something different, before you can discover how to do it better.

Above all else I admire Gandhi’s integrity.

I don’t worry about leadership styles as much as I worry being a person of integrity.

It’s a tricky business.

There is such a fine line between minding your own business and becoming very complicit.

There are times to shut up, and there are times to shout.

I always line up on the side of the broken and disadvantaged. Being a bit broken and an immigrant makes it very easy for me.

I can’t forget where I have come from. The six suitcases with which we came, or the welfare assistance we received. I can’t forget the long and hard days my parents spent working as janitors, or the irony of stealing from Honest Eds in Toronto.

I have a deep desire to connect with people. Not because I think I have something to share, but because I believe we have something to share.

A leader is a follower.

She follows other leaders.

She looks for what is broken and mends it.

She makes it better.

She sets it free.

Leaders don’t create followers. Leaders create leaders.

Go and create some leaders, wherever you have influence.

Make the world better.

Go make a ruckus!


Cover photo generously provided by photographer Ishant Mishra via unsplash.com