Are you a spectator? Participator? Creator?

Something I’m thinking about this week: How do I become an authentic leader?

How do I level up?

How do I become a better me and stop getting hung up in the same old BS?

How do I stop cycling in place and make a step up the ladder to my own greatness?

The path to leadership, leaderness, leader-osity seems confusing because so many people do it differently. But there are common denominators and they are SIMPLE and quite easy to apply.

In order to step into my greatness, I must go through the path to creation.


I have to know something exists to aspire to it.

I have to see, hear, think, be exposed to new thoughts and ideas.

Roger Bannister was the first man to break the four minute mile in 1954. His peers simply WATCHED that happen, and soon they too could do what he did. They had to see it.

There is value on being a spectator.


We can’t just watch. We have to do in order to learn.

I have to admit, this is hard for me. NOT because I don’t like doing. I just MUCH prefer to do things I know I will be pretty good at. I like to feel good about my doing. I don’t like to suck at what I am doing. Don’t like DOING to be uncomfortable (like fitness stuff) or embarrassing (as in, other people might see me not being great at this and judge me. Oh damn!).

SUCKING while DOING is pretty much essential to the equation.

If we only do things we can do well, we never develop new skills.

So, yeah, we (I) gotta keep confronting the things I DON’T want to do (not because I don’t want to learn to do, but that I am avoiding because it just seems too uncomforntable or embarrassing) and then get over myself and do it. And do it again. And do it again. And ask for help (Damn! Now that is embarrassing). And do it again. And pay for help (Oh man! Also a total freak out for me). And do it some more.

I think. You get. The point.

Step Three: CREATOR

Now is the time to rise up from following the path of others and the process of someone else and make your own thing.

How to create?
Make something.
Teach something.
Put your own twist on something.
Put two things together and make it useful to someone.
Stop waiting for someone to tell you what to do. Do what needs to be done without direction.
Help others who are in step two (participators).

Let us see your light, your brilliance, your fascinating freaky parts – let them all out!

How can you apply this?

Think of a specific project. A project where you are stuck. A project where you want more.

Where are you in this journey?

If you are stuck at spectator, it is likely time to step into a participator role. This is the hardest leap for most people because our culture is a culture of spectators. Break the mold. You are so much bigger than that.

Are you at participator level? Then it is time to make a plan. What skills do you need to acquire? Get serious about acquiring them. And give yourself permission to begin creating RIGHT NOW.

You can be in participator and creator mode at the same time. In fact, it is very valuable to do both.
Every great creator I know is a full blown participator. That is how they stay fresh and relevant.

SO – if you are a creator – how can you participate more in the space (or adjacent to the space) you create in? Do that. Cross pollination is super valuable.

You get to choose. Choose your story wisely.


This post was inspired by Jesse Elder on Ed Osburn’s fantastic The Uncoaching Podcast. Check out the full episode here. It’s totally worth a listen.

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