Leaders who think it’s all about them have lost their way.

Building a community requires a lot more than a charismatic leader. It’s one part leader, one part content or cause, and a bagillion parts the community itself.

That’s the challenge we have as leaders – actually doing what we’re supposed to do. Our job isn’t to bask in the admiration of our community for what we know or how awesome we are. Our job is to build a path for our community members to broadcast their own awesome – we light the fire and get the hell out of the way.

Like Will Schuester says in Glee, “The best teachers don’t give you the answers. They just point the way and let you make your own choices, your own mistakes. That way, you get all the glory. If you can’t win without me there, then I haven’t done my job.” Teachers are leaders, and vice versa.

As leaders we have a responsibility to make it not about us. We might be amazing. Hell, we might be rockstar cool. But without our community – without students, without rabid fans who cover and adapt our work – a rockstar is all washed up.

(Header photo: Braveheart by hcplebranch)