I consider Andy Stanley to be a leader in every sense of the word. If you’re not familiar with Andy, he’s the senior pastor of North Point Community Church, speaker, author, podcaster and much more. If you ask someone that knows Andy if they consider him a leader, they’ll almost certainly say yes.
Andy’s churches see weekly attendance of more than 40,000 people during non-COVID times, so you think he’d want to be a “leader” and reopen as soon as possible. You’d be wrong. They announced months ago that they’d be staying closed until at least the end of 2020, perhaps longer. In their eyes, the safety of their congregation comes first, and unnecessarily putting them at risk isn’t leadership of any kind.
They’re certainly doing a ton to support their congregation through virtual events, and much could be learned from that, but they don’t think that leadership means going first.
I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of businesses and organizations in your area that are doing the opposite. They’re “leading the way” to reopen or to host their event, even if it might not be a smart move. It’s a tricky thing to navigate, particularly for businesses, so I’m not sure what the right answer is. However, I don’t think that opening quickly necessarily equates to leadership.
Verizon is leading the way with 5G
5G is going to be great — someday. We’re still a long way from that. However, if you listen to some companies you’ll be led to believe that being first is all that matters.
Take Verizon in Atlanta, for example. On July 31, 2019, Verizon launched their first 5G towers in Atlanta. They’re first — they’re leaders!
That was more than 15 months ago. As of now, their true 5G covers about six square miles. Six. And that’s only on some streets, and only works if you’re outside. For comparison, the metro Atlanta area is considered to be 8,376 square miles, and the state of Georgia is 59,425 square miles. They cover 6.
6 vs 8,376 vs 59,425. It’s a joke. Are they leaders in 5G because they were first?
Side note: To help confuse you, Verizon has now renamed much of their old 4G network as kind of a fake 5G, like AT&T has done. When looking at this data, be sure to look at their coverage for “5G Ultra Wideband” to see what they really have.
Leaders can be first
This isn’t to say that being first means you’re not a leader. There are plenty of examples of leaders being trailblazers into a new industry or idea, and that should always be celebrated.
It just seems to be that being first to something is now being treated like a crown, while being first is only part of being a true leader.