The memories come rushing back so vividly. You probably remember exactly where you were when the events of 9/11 began to unfold. As vivid and specific as those memories are for me, they’ll never reach the magnitude of those who were directly impacted by that tragedy.
I can’t help but think of the leaders who had to step into that moment of crisis. What were they thinking? What were they feeling? What fears were they facing?
Probably all the same thoughts, feelings, and fears that any of us would face, and yet they chose to lead at what I call “the crossroads of influence.”
We often confront our greatest fear at the crossroads of influence. We face our greatest fear at the threshold of our greatest opportunity to make an impact. Not to confront this fear would be to deny who we are created to be. We’d be sabotaging the very calling and purpose we are designed for.
September 11, 2001, was a chilling day for the people of the United Sates. But for the mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, it was a day that distinctly impacted the trajectory of his leadership influence. For a city facing the most devastating tragedy our country has known, the mayor was at a crossroads of influence. How he handled that moment would redefine his leadership. Everything he had achieved to that point, every ounce of influence he had earned, had prepared him for that moment. Facing his fears quickly was essential to helping lead others through theirs.
Fear finds us at the edge of the cliff: the moment when we must make a decision. When you find yourself there, do you give in to fear or step out in faith? Fear turns tail and runs. Faith takes the leap. Faith sees beyond the fear and recognizes that you were uniquely designed and created for this moment.
I pray that none of us finds ourselves at a crossroads of influence as dramatic as 9/11, but when our crossroads comes may we be brave enough as leaders to face our fears and lead others through theirs.
**Excerpts of this post are from my upcoming book Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence