Speaker | Entrepreneur | Author

Sam Davidson's blog

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The sweet spot of leadership

For great leadership to happen, three things must be present: talent, passion, and opportunity.

Time and again, whether speaking to college students or nonprofit leaders, I find that so many people want to lead. But, the conditions and inputs often don't align to provide the right setting for leadership to take place.

You can be the most passionate person around, but if you don't have a talent to lead - or if you don't have a talent around which you can base your leadership - then you won't be very effective. Same goes for passion - if you're missing a deep desire to lead others, you won't have a chance to succeed.

Here's a diagram depicting the three key ingredients of leadership:


Merely combining your passions and talents won't make you a leader. That combination results in a hobby and nothing more.

The combination of passion and opportunity just creates recreation. Think kickball, reading Harry Potter books, or volunteering to help build a house.

And opportunity and talent is just work.

But when all three come together, then you've got leadership.

Make a list

  • What are your core talents - those things you do very well and continue to improve upon?
  • What are your passions - those things you care about more than anyone else you know?
  • What are your opportunities - what do you do on daily or weekly basis?

Making a list of each of these will let you see where you can offer leadership. Find one spot today where these three overlap and step into the leadership role that was destined for you.