‘How did it go?'
Her face was flushed and sweaty after her first day of leading tour groups around New Norcia.
‘Good. No - Excellent. Well, nervous at first. And I nearly lost it at one stage.
'I was walking along with fifteen people behind me and I turned to ask Belinda something. And then I realised that Belinda wasn’t there anymore. It was just me.
'I looked back and saw all those people following me. Me! I started to freak. It hit me that I was It. I’d never thought about what it would be like until then. My stomach started churning and I just wanted to run. I suddenly felt all this responsibility. It happened in a rush.’
‘You obviously didn’t run.’
‘No. I looked over my shoulder and saw that they were all still following behind me. So I just kept walking. Kept leading them to the next stop on the tour. And then the next one after that.
About halfway through I began to relax. I realised that I just had to keep walking and that they would follow me. I know the town history and they wanted to hear about it. I almost started laughing at one point because I knew that I could go anywhere and say anything and that they would follow and listen and nod. Scary to think what I could have done without them knowing any different and anyone to tell them otherwise.
'By the end, I was enjoying it.'
True Leaders - not PowerPoint ones - you remember the feeling of transition.
The churning stomach. The weight of other people's decision making loading upon your shoulders like discarded rifles surrendered by a defeated army.
The sound of a serious stranger's voice coming from your mouth with your Father's words, or a teacher's, or a book, or a movie - from somewhere but not from your heart.
That first decision that you made to lead those people somewhere that you eventually learned - or are still learning - is leading you back to yourself.
Leaders are brave.