Real leaders Are Sponges.

7 min readOct 28, 2020


Photo by Artem Makarov on Unsplash

If you work around enough people you will see individuals who fall into many different categories.

Leader, Helper, slacker, wannabe boss, etc.

In every workplace there is usually someone designated to make sure everybody’s working at their best to complete their tasks as efficiently as possible. These guys are supposed to be leaders. And leaders generally are chosen from among the regular workers because Of outstanding characteristics such as: organization, Focus, Efficiency and charisma.

Not everyone is about that life.

Just because someone got a title does not mean they fulfill that title.

Any organization or any place where there’s a group of people working, you’ll see some who are good at their jobs, are very knowledgeable, focused on getting the work done.

And some who somehow escaped scrutiny, actually suck, and still pull a check every Friday.

And amongst the ones who get promoted, there are those whose actual ability dose not match the pay grade.

Well, how can you tell?

First of all, real leaders can relate to the people they are supposed to work with.

I said: work with. Not rule over.

leaders come from among the Common Man and can relate to the struggle of the Common Man.

They relate to the common man’s response to the labors that is put upon him.

A leader can understand where he’s coming from.

And because of this inside knowledge so to speak, the leader is in a better position to guide, direct, negotiate and create solutions to problems that come up in the life of the everyday man.

Because he went through them as well.

leaders, true leaders, are humble. They’re not too good to work in the dirt with the rest of the guys.

They know what it’s like to feel sluggish, tired and sick. Not wanting to come into work, but they have to because they have bills to pay and kids to feed.

A perfect example of this, is David from the Bible. David was a lowly Shepherd. David tended to his father’s flocks. He was the youngest in the family and no doubt would have wanted to be a warrior. The fame,renown and glory was any young man’s dream.

David’s brothers were all trained warriors and soldiers. no one was thinking about David during the war With the Philistines. Who would consult with a Shepherd concerning matters of War?

But what not many people knew about David, was the challenges he had to face by himself.

Did you ever have to take a lamb out of a lion’s mouth?

Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

How about a bear?

How many people you know spar with lions and bears? While David’s brothers were out on the battlefield, David had to face battles of his own. by himself.

Going through this, and living through this and prevailing over this, gave David a unique perspective.

The Philistine Champion Goliath was armed to the teeth, and filled with bombast. Goliath scared everyone who saw him.

Almost everyone. David was incensed that Goliath was insulting his people. David’s love for his God and his fellow man, compelled him to Step up to the task.

David was not impressed. David in his everyday duties, faced far worse.

Lions and bears don’t brag about how tough they are.

David stared death in the face more than once. He may not have had Battlefield experience, but he was no ordinary shepherd either. he had the courage of a warrior.

It was never stated in Goliath’s life if he ever had to deal with a lion or a bear.

David was a man of the people. David had unique experience but David never forgot where he came from. David was a true leader. It showed in his love for his nation.

Time to sniff out the counterfeits.

How do you know when someone’s a true leader?

Simple. They understand first before they make a judgment. They try to relate to the conditions of the men they work with. If they can’t exactly relate, they try to get understanding on what’s affecting his fellow man.

But that’s not always the case.

Some leaders are like a big fish in a small pond. They take up space and can’t exactly be ignored.

They mistakenly believe that just because they have authority, they can customize their responsibilities and run things the way they see fit.

That’s not the role of a leader.

Fake leaders mistakenly believe that they have all the right in the world to criticize, castigate and even humiliate people publicly.

Correction is meant to help people to perform better and educate them.

Fake leaders like to impose their will simply because they possess authority.

The impression left is not:

“Here’s how to fix the problem”

It’s more like:

“ I’m in charge, do as I say”

Fake leaders don’t fully appreciate what their role is, and many times don’t put in the effort to truly fulfill what they’re supposed to be doing. To them they’re better than everyone else.

They project themselves as though they don’t make mistakes. They believe their word is final. They’re not open to suggestions. They justify their own hypocrisy with endless excuses. The thing that is required for all the other workers does not apply to them. And more often than not, can’t take the same intensity of criticism that they dish out.

They use their position to overcompensate for insecurities within themselves.

They may not have held power anywhere else in their life. But at this job they can finally be seen as important.

Many of them like to rest on their laurels of authority. Over time, customize their jobs or look for ways to do less while earning the same amount of pay. They designate all the hard work to other people.

Fake leaders are constantly paranoid.

They mistake criticism for challenge.

Perceive questions as intent to usurp.

Fake leaders do not wish to learn anything new, because learning anything new would increase their accountability and responsibilities.

If new ideas are introduced, they are immediately shot down and dismissed.


They take credit for ideas that they did not create. As long as it gives them an appearance of competency and capability.

They are not about increasing responsibilities. they are about being the big man in whatever field they’re in and having people defer to them.

Fake leaders want to be in control of the small world that they’ve created for themselves. and they will do everything in their power to protect their position.

Bending the truth. Fabricating stories. And outright lies. Their methods can border on the draconian.

Putting the focus on other individuals, so that their shortcomings will not be revealed. That’s what fake leaders do.

They want power without responsibility.

Authority without accountability.

They are Intractable. Inflexible. Inconsolable. They misuse their natural born talent to cement themselves has an authority in a position where they validate themselves through their occupation. They forget that a job is not about them and their drama.

Time for the real.

A real leader is a sponge. A real leader is always learning. Always thinking. Always applying.

A real leader can accept criticism as well as give it out. He remembers he is a human being just like the other human beings he’s working with.

A real leader does not mistake his title for Immortality, Invincibility, Piousness or Sanctimoniousness. None of that.

A real leader understands his authority is extra responsibility. A real leader will understand where he makes his mistakes and corrects them. He also understands he can’t do the job all by himself.

Real leaders are solution-focused. Real leaders bring out the best in others. They are constantly looking for a better way of doing things. And they genuinely care about the people they work with.

Real leaders understand that their role, and their responsibilities, is to get the job done. As a team.

Real leaders don’t believe they can customize their work and look for ways to do less.

They accept the full weight of their responsibilities. And when necessary, will ask for help to get the job done. They don’t burden others.

Real leaders share Glory.

Real leaders accept criticism and do not see it as a challenge to their authority. They don’t feel threatened when their faults are revealed. They accept challenges as a form of improvement and empowerment.

Real leaders are relieved when they hear about their faults because, now they know what it is that they need to fix in order to become better.

Because, after all, a leader is supposed to be looking for better ways to do things.

And that includes being better himself.

Humility. Focus on Solutions. Genuine empathy. These are the traits of a real leader. They are just as human as you or me.

They have a big job and they need help.

If a leader is doing his job properly, then every job is handled as a team, not as an attempt to outshine someone else. Everyone is willing to help everyone. The leader’s job is to unite everyone for a common cause.

There is no such thing as “Every man for himself”

Thanks for reading.




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