What I've Learned About Leadership - Vincent Thompson

Guest Blogger - Vincent Thompson

Vincent Thompson is an ambitious young man with a message of bringing true change to disadvantaged communities. At 23 years old he has a degree in business management and works as a financial consultant. He is most importantly a devoted Christian and servant to his church home Salvation and Deliverance Ministries International. 

What I've Learned About Leadership

Last year as I was walking out of my office, headed to catch a train home I was shocked by a familiar face that I had seen on television. At first I had planned to continue walking as if I didn't notice the man I saw because I thought to myself "what are the chances that this is actually who I think it is." But my curiosity got the best of me and I walked over and I asked him "Excuse me sir are you Tom Ricketts, the owner of the Cubs?" And to my surprise he said "Yes I am." He was gracious enough to take a selfie with me but then I said to myself "in a crowded building like this, how am I the only person who knew who this billionaire is?" 

The Lesson: Leadership isn't about the flash. It's about humbling yourself. I was in utter disbelief that someone of his status would be so down to Earth. I was so use to seeing people in leadership being very demanding, self absorbed, arrogant about having their way all the time and pushing their weight around. This encounter definitely changed my prospective about leadership. As I have meet more and more leaders I've found that my former beliefs weren't true at all.

What I've learned is that there's a difference between someone who is a leader and someone who has a title. True leaders don't even care about the title, they care about getting the mission complete and that is why many times great leaders rise to positions of power when often they have started off so low. In leadership if you worship the title more than the purpose in which you serve then you're bound to fail and the mission will be incomplete.

Leaders that I know also share another amazing trait. They're goal oriented and can't stand when others around them aren't. Last year was my first time ever working for a firm and my boss was extremely demanding of me. Sometimes calling me out from the crowd even though I was the youngest member of the firm. He had us all make a detail schedule of our every move on a daily basis, even decisions that weren't work related like going to the doctors office and going to church. I have to admit that at first I didn't take it serious at all but as time went on I saw how I was missing the BIG picture. Being goal oriented means not giving much time to things that aren't bringing you closer to your goal.

And lastly I've learned that truly great leaders enjoy creating value for others. I watched a president of a hedge fund company give a speech not too long ago and one of the things he said that really amazed me was "telling people what they want to hear all the time isn't creating any value for them." After hearing this I found a greater appreciation for my boss. He was always quick to correct me in the way I presented myself to others, and the thoughts that I shared with him about personal and professional matters. He would tell me things I didn't want to hear. Before working for him I was the master of creating good excuses as to why I didn't do something and being the baby of he family I had learned how to make myself seem like the victim so I could always get my way. And every time I thought I had a good enough excuse he presented a better solution in which I hadn't even thought of. And as a result I am no longer an excuse maker and can't stand when others give poor excuses of why they didn't do something.

This past year I've had a great honor of sitting down with some awesome leaders and talking to them about what made them great and how they obtained the success they have. I've found the common denominator of success is being willing to do the things unsuccessful people aren't willing to do. The greatest leader of all time however is Jesus Christ. He gives the best advice about leadership as he led by the example he gave. He said "the greatest amongst you is a servant." Having a heart and mind to serve people and causes that concerns you the most is true success. 

Vincent Thompson is also our feature for our Leader's Spotlight segment. Check out this special segment right below and find out more about this very special young man, who is an inspiration for many young people.

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