I’m no expert, but to me a leader is someone who leads by example – and who builds support by demonstrating to others the value of his or her actions. A leader builds by creating a coalition, and by embracing others. Sadly, many of today’s leaders believe that they only can lead by having friends as supporters. Or just as bad, they view their role and make decisions based upon other factors. One local “leader,” for example, declined to attend a meeting because his “attendance really depend[ed] on the agenda and who else is there. ” He said he was “not likely going to make it if there are only 3-4 others in attendance.” This same “leader” also believes that those people who aren’t friends will not support his leadership goals and has generally excluded those people from his plans as an association leader. It’s a shame because, in my experience, leaders need to broaden their reach – not put up artificial barriers.