Note: The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent The K.I.N.G. Movement or its supporters. They are the views of the author alone.
America is in need of more leaders. And not just good leaders; we need great leaders. As a society, we are expressing a lot of fear, confusion, anger and divisiveness. We need effective leaders to help us course-correct and get back on track. This is beyond the presidency and the partisanship, politics and precincts that come with that position.
It’s October of 2016, and I wouldn't have to work too hard to draw parallels between America’s racial climate today and the racial climate during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
Seemingly every month this year, we’ve seen countless stories and images in the media of police in riot gear facing off with groups of Black protesters. That’s not to mention the numerous cries, hurts, pains and stings surrounding acts of injustice against Blacks at the hands of police officers.
I feel like we’ve seen this movie before. And if that's the case, then we should know which characters die early, which characters are the villains, and which characters emerge as the heroic leaders. Right?
I’m beginning to think the answer to that question is “No.” I say that based on all the griping and complaining I’m hearing from folks about what they want the outcome to be. Meanwhile, no one is stepping up and taking a leadership role to help effect the very change they claim they want to see. Why is that?
I believe one of the biggest reasons people aren’t taking action is because they are waiting for someone else to step up and be the leader. They are sitting back watching the events unfold like they have the luxury of being a casual observer of this horror film called Real Life.
News Flash, people - we are all characters in this film and we’re all connected. This is particularly true if you are a Christian.
A quick look at 1 Corinthians 12:12 serves as a reminder that we are all different body parts of the same body of Christ. This passage reminds us that we all have different gifts, powers and passions and have been placed in different positions and places of influence to work together in our respective roles and positions for the greater good of us all.
I feel compelled to offer up this reminder because none of us should be sitting back waiting to see who is going to step up and lead. Instead, we should be busy leading our own efforts and initiatives based on the gifts, passions and positions we’ve been given.
A lot of my Jewish brothers and sisters are waiting to see what the Christian leaders are going to do about this problem. A lot of my White Christian brothers and sisters are waiting to see what the Black church leaders are going to do. And a lot of my Black brothers and sisters who have lost faith in the church are simply waiting for the next MLK Jr., Malcolm X or Nat Turner to emerge.
My message to all of you is to stop waiting and start acting. The Leader that we’ve all been waiting for is you!
The issue we are facing in America right now with law enforcement and the African-American community is not just a Black issue for Black leaders to resolve. It’s not even an issue relegated to just law enforcement. This is an issue that affects all of us - all races, all religions, all institutions, all industries and all disciplines.
If you want to see change, then tap into the leader within and help effect that change. Otherwise, you have no grounds to complain.
We all have the ability to not only be good leaders, but to be great leaders within our families, communities and overall sphere of influence. This includes our actions, choices and behavior on social media.
Here are three quick points to help guide you on your journey to leadership greatness during these challenging times:
Being a great leader is not based on title; it’s based on choice. Great leadership is not a destiny appointed to a select few but is based on your willingness to do what others won’t do.
Great leaders understand the connection between choices and consequences. We are all connected and none of us are exempt from our responsibility to the greater good of others. We all have freedom of choice but none of us are free from the consequences of our choices (or the lack thereof). Leadership is a verb. It is about the actions you choose to take. Leadership is not about status or position. Effective leadership is about your behavior and the responsibility you take for helping others succeed.
I’ve spoken to numerous people regarding the challenges we’re facing with law enforcement and the African-American community, and many of them seem to be waiting for a mysterious “Black Leader” to magically appear and solve the problem.
I can tell you this much: resolving and reconciling this challenge is not a one-person job. This effort will require multiple leaders.
I think I’ve found those leaders. And one of them is you.
Tru is a devoted family man, an accomplished business leader, and engaged community leader. His love for his family and his passion to help others win are what fuels him each day. He is also an author, a Life Coach, an award-winning marketing executive, an inspirational speaker, and a successful entrepreneur. Tru also serves as the president for the Raleigh-Durham chapter of the KING Movement national men’s ministry.
Tru has been featured in such prominent publications as The New York Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, and Fortune Magazine for his marketing expertise. His highly anticipated book, Millennnials Revealed, was released in October 2015 with overwhelming positive response and feedback from thought leaders across the country.
Tru currently lives in Cary, North Carolina with his wife of 14 years, Tameka, and their 4-year-old son Austin.