History is rich with many lessons of human resourcefulness. Our past is certainly robust with examples of tremendous will and noble sacrifices. What if great leaders chose a different path during their lives? Would it have mattered? Reflexively I respond to such a notion "of course it matters!" But what if the needs of the people at that time forged their leaders spirit? Essentially, the great needs of humanity may have directly inspired/sparked legendary leadership.
Consider the founding fathers of the United States of America. These men were forced to action by continued divergence of the British rule from local needs without representation. What if Paul Revere had never made that ride?What if George Washington had never accepted the mantle of leadership? Imagine, if you would be so bold, the modern state of the US without the spirited writing of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. These historic figures made a choice at some point in their lives. And they continued to make that decision for most of their days. They chose a life of service, and some died still fulfilling that role. A great need demanded unshakeable leadership.
They weren't always extraordinary leaders. They may have excelled in literary talent, been gifted with the fine art of persuasion, or been trained in the accepted arts of war. But if we look carefully at the start of the revolution there were many terrible losses and poor decisions. The revolutionaries tried fighting a war in open fields, face to face, force to force, as they had been taught. This nearly resulted in the end of the war. But the greatest leaders have a knack for finding deeper reserves of resolve than we usually consider possible (Legendary Leaders Just Don't Quit ).
Observe the world around you today. Do you perceive a great need of the people? Or perhaps other life that is eroding under the pressure of industry? Look closely at the common needs of your neighbors, not only your close knit friends, but those who have suffered great misfortunes. Is there a common grave error in systematic solutions to their social needs.
A global society is emerging from the Internet as the barriers to communication disolve. This new community will be inspired by great leaders. Its billion users require bold leadership. Today we witness these leaders working within businesses in the form of entrepreneurs, striving to provide value to user needs. Joining them in parallel are social visionaries which lead a completely voluntary (opt in) resource shift to promote business growth, wealth generation, and improved health in areas of great need. Elected officials who truly accept the responsibility of service, are struggling within slow changing bureacratic systems to provide for the needs of their constituency.
There are many great needs today, and they will find the finest leaders to champion them. If you find yourself called by needs greater than your own, if you are prepared for great sacrifice and to have your resolve pushed to its limits, by all means take up the mantle of leadership. Afterall, what if you succeed?