His name was Ezelle

My leadership journey started in a small country church in North Louisiana.

I was the pastor of this 25-member congregation.

A former pastor attended the church.  His name was Ezelle Huckaby.

He organized the Sunday school classes, teachers and so on.

I was young.  Probably 22. Didn’t know jack about leadership.

My passion led me to steam forward and just do the next thing…often without consulting anyone.

One afternoon, I was outside the church and Ezelle saw me as he drove by.

We shook hands and began to chat.

He pointed to a corn field that was behind the church.

He said, “You see that tractor handling the corn?  That’s you. You’re plowing forward without having asked anyone anything. Pastor, you’ll get more done if the people are with you.  You may not get it done as quickly, but you’ll get it done and everyone will be happy.”

That was a leadership moment.

I’ve never forgotten that conversation on a hot summer day just outside Clarence, Louisiana.

Bring the people with you.

Cast a vision.
Start with why.
Don’t just tell the people what you want to do.
Tell them why.
Let them be part of the solution.

It took me a while to realize Ezelle was right, but he was.

A leader takes people on a journey.
A dictator issues a decree.

Be the leader.

Paint the picture of what the accomplished vision will look like.
Explain how it will benefit the team.
One you feel you have buy-in, make a move.

Stop being a tractor that plows over everyone.
Start with why.
Get buy-in.
Make your move.

When you do, you’ll be well on your way to “Enduring Leadership.”


– Brian Sanders