You First!


How daring were you? Remember as a child when you and your best friend would have a dare? Perhaps some mischief or game, a challenge perhaps, and you would say, “You First”. What about your first kiss? Walking a fallen log across the creek? You first? Accepting the risk was so much fun as well as the banter. In leadership, whether in a company, or in relationships, whether personal or professional it’s the same thing now. People everywhere are looking for transformation.  Leaders?  “You first.”

In a room filled with new people, are you the first to walk up, introduce yourself? Or do you wait? Masked or unmasked, will you go first?

Are you the first in your organization to lead by example? Model the correct behavior? Are you first to take on the difficult situations or tasks? First to accept risk and responsibility? First to be authentic and vulnerable? As leaders we bear all responsibility. Don’t we?

By going first, we model the behavior, we get “buy in”, decrease turn-over and build trust. If we know the way, show the way, then they will go the way!

We all know we achieve more “together”. As leaders our primary goal is to get followers “together”. All pulling in the same direction. It’s that simple. At least in theory. You see we can not simply follow and lead at the same time. We must go first.

One of my favorite quotes is by Ralph Waldo Emerson and to me, it epitomizes leadership. It’s about going first.

“Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

People are hungry for genuine leadership. They are seeking out leaders that transform lives, build relationships, bring togetherness and unity, both at work and in our personal relationships. Leadership transcends the gap between our professional desires and our personal lives. Will you go first?

Whether building a team, leading a company or organization or setting an example as a parent, getting “buy in” is crucial. It requires trust. And trust is built by going first.

Will you go first? Will you become the leader people want to see? First to be vulnerable? Initiate conversation? First to empower others? And yes, first to fail?

For just a moment, think on these terms and how they may apply to your life.

INERTIA: The tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged.

TRAJECTORY: A path followed by an object moving under.


the action of a given force.”

Realize that In leadership, and in life, there is no such thing as inertia. Why?

Growth and success is a product of change enacted on by a force. As a matter of fact, doing nothing will lead to a downward spiral. It occurs naturally and by default. An action step is required to reverse a downward trajectory.

Here are two examples to prove my point. Have you made a decision to become healthier or live with more life-work balance in 2021?

Doing nothing will not serve you. (inertia). You will become increasingly unhealthy (trajectory) by doing nothing, it is the default and work always expands to take up more time than you allow for it. Always!

We must go first.

If achieving more freedom and relational balance between home and work, is your goal, then establishing those habits will require action. Only actionable force will give us a change in our trajectory. Trajectory is where we are headed. Keep in mind, trajectory is out in the future.

In whatever path you are on, you have a created trajectory. What is your trajectory? Is it serving you? Your “path”, your direction of achievement and accomplishment, your goals and desires is your trajectory.

As a leader, going first is priority. It is the leader’s responsibility to create or change the trajectory of the future for yourself and for others you care about. Just how you apply “the action of a given force” will determine the entirety of your future.

If you struggle with going first in any area of your life, reach out. I’m giving you this opportunity to go first. Change your trajectory.

You go First!

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