Leading in Small Places

I think way too often we get enamored with big time leaders, and make that our goal.  We want to influence millions, and look at famous leaders like Jack Welch, Rudy Giuliani, or Seth Godin as models.  All of those leaders are worth studying, but never discount the value or importance of leading in small places.  One changed life can ripple outward and impact millions of people.  Because my father had the courage to break out of a cotton mill in a small North Carolina town back in 1944, my sister and I were able to go to college, and I now produce media that millions of people see.  Had he followed the safe route and spent a lifetime at the mill, who knows where his children and grandchildren would be today?

Teachers in small towns have made a dramatic difference for men and women who have had an incredible impact on history.

Some studies indicate that up to 18,000 pastors and ministry leaders leave the church every year.  I think a significant number leave because of the perceived frustration that they’re not making a difference.  But pastors in tiny churches have left their mark in ways that continue to be felt far beyond those small places.

Don’t be frustrated where you are.  Leadership at any level matters, and it’s not up to you to decide if you’re making a difference.  Very often, making a difference is an invisible thing, that you won’t really see for years down the road.

But it happens.  Even in the smallest of places.

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Phil Cooke
Phil Cooke is the founder and CEO of Cooke Pictures in Burbank, California (cookepictures.com)where he helps church, ministry, and nonprofit organizations engage the culture more effectively. He's a filmmaker, media consultant, and author of "Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media."