Houston Forward Times

11 December 2013 Written by  Jeffrey L. Boney


502536-michael-jackson-617-409I often hear people ask the question, “Where are our leaders?”

 This is an interesting question to me.

When people ask, “Where are our leaders?” what are they really asking?

How would “they” determine that “they” have actually found “their” leaders?

Who in the world is “they” anyway?  What criteria are used to make the decision?

What is the measuring stick and who is the determining party that indicates who a leader actually is?  Is there a committee of decision-makers that meet monthly to choose the leader of the day, week, month or year?

I’m here to tell you that the world is waiting for the leader that is within us. We need to stop waiting for, calling on and looking for someone else to lead us.  We must step up.

That is what Nelson Mandela did.  He had every right to simply pursue his legal career and make a gang of money with no problem, but there was just one problem; he refused to sit back and allow his people to be mistreated by an injustice system. 

Mandela fought the good fight and had his freedom taken away for 27 years, for a cause that he believed in.  He could have called on somebody else to fight the fight, but he saw the problem and knew he had to be the solution. 

We should take a long look in the mirror and start taking the leadership role we are destined to pursue, because everyone is called to be a leader in some capacity.

Many of us complain about issues; blame the wrong people (and maybe the right people sometimes); become reactive; and then argue and complain some more; becoming like a hamster on a hamster wheel, constantly going in a circle, yet going nowhere.

This reminds me of a story I share with many communities across this country when I speak.

There was once a tiger that had a splinter in his paw; the only thing he did every day was complain about how that splinter was causing so much pain in his paw.

“Oh God, I have a problem and the pain in my paw won’t go away!” said the tiger.

That tiger had the same complaint every day and would angrily roar at other animals and be downright mean to them. He was even envious of other animals because they didn’t feel the same pain that he felt.

He complained so much that it became unbearable for the other animals and they had heard enough. One day, one of his tiger friends approached him and said, “I noticed you had a splinter in your paw. I’m almost certain that if you pull the splinter out, the pain would probably go away!”

The tiger looked at his paw; saw the splinter; looked at his tiger friend; looked back at the splinters; and then all of a sudden he proceeded to complain get mad and blaming someone else for his problem.

One day, after the pain got worse, he came to his senses and said, “Maybe my tiger friend was right. The pain that I feel would probably go away if I go ahead and take the splinter out!”

The tiger braced himself and pulled the splinter out of his paw and immediately the pain went away and he was no longer in pain.

Now, what’s the moral of that story?  I’m glad you asked.

Complaining about a situation does not change situation. It brings attention to the situation, but it doesn’t change the fact that something still needs to be done to solve the problem.

Sometimes we possess the power to bring forth change, but we delay the solution from being administered because we start looking for someone else to save the day, like Superman.

We must do something about stuff ourselves and stop complaining about what others aren’t doing for us. The thing we look for others to do, we can more than likely do ourselves.

Why can’t we be like that tiger, who took the advice of someone who provided a possible solution to his problem? The tiger didn’t just listen to the recommended solution, he acted on it and it made a difference in his life. 

We need to get involved when we see a problem affecting our society and get in the game; don’t sit on the sidelines.  The bottom line is we should stop looking for someone else to do things for us that we should and can do for ourselves.

NEWSFLASH:  I‘m calling all leaders, and that means all of us, to step up to the plate; do something; and make a difference. 

Let’s make a difference together. We need to look in the mirror, like Michael Jackson said, and find the leader that this world needs so desperately, right now.

Jeffrey L. Boney serves as Associate Editor and is an award-winning journalist for the Houston Forward Times newspaper.  Jeffrey is a Next Generation Project Fellow, dynamic, international speaker, experienced entrepreneur, business development strategist and Founder/CEO of the Texas Business Alliance.  If you would like to request Jeffrey as a speaker, you can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

MAA WereReady