Evolve!The Man

How to Take Your Place as a Point Man

point man in business suit taking a photo with his tema

The greatest disservice a man can do to himself is to doubt his ability as a leader. Leadership is inherent in us because we have been created to occupy this position in nature. The challenge with most men today is what Leonardo da Vinci pointed out when he said: “The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.”

If only men would wake up to the consciousness of their position as point men, they would begin to act accordingly. Various dictionaries define a point man as the soldier at the head of a patrol or the leader of an armed force. It could also mean a person at the forefront of an activity or endeavour.

In the military, during war, the point man is the one who walks in front of every other soldier. His position is the most dangerous among soldiers that are sent to war. He is the one who uses symbols to direct the other soldiers to proceed to the war front. A point man can therefore simply be referred to as a leader. There are certain attributes associated with people who can be referred to as point men: they are courageous, bold, always alert, focused, aggressive, disciplined, committed, skilled and capable, amongst others.

We can also say a point man is a pathfinder. He is the eyes of the rest of the troops. From creation’s dawn, when man was given the responsibility to name all living creatures, that was a responsibility of a point man. Today, most men have shied away from their positions as point men with various excuses such as the situation of the economy, lack of employment opportunities, hardship, and every other challenge that the twenty-first century has thrown their way.

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These challenges have made most men resign to hopelessness and helplessness which is not expected of a point man. From the attributes of the point man listed above, we can see that the point man, despite the threat and danger posed to his life, still goes ahead to fulfil his task as a point man. Likewise, that should be the disposition of men to whatever is thrown their way. As a man, you must have the commitment that come what may, you will fulfil your cause as a point man.

Any man who wants to commit to the cause of being a point man would do well to take note of the following tips:

1. Accept the fact that you have been called to a place of leadership. Engage in self-reflection especially when you need to make certain decisions.

2. Improve yourself by investing in knowledge. Knowledge is what you need when you are faced with making an important decision.

3. Avoid leadership traps. While most people value fair compensation for their accomplishments, few leaders start out seeking only money, power, and prestige. Along the way, the rewards—bonus cheques, newspaper articles, perks, and stock appreciation—fuel increasing desires for more. This creates a deep desire to keep it going, often driven by desires to overcome narcissistic wounds from childhood. Many times, this desire is so strong that leaders breach the ethical standards that previously governed their conduct, which can be bizarre and even illegal.

4. Always keep your motives in check.

5. Let your leadership be value-centred and also have a system to support value-centred leadership.

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6. Be courageous, bold and committed to a cause with strong conviction.

7. Believe and rely on the faithfulness of God to bring out the best in you.

By observing the foregoing, you can set yourself apart from the crowd and take your position as the point man that you ought to be. Like Augosto Roa Bastos observed, “In all nations an exceptional man exists that compensates the deficiencies of the remainder. In those moments, when humanity is found collectively in a state of decadence, there always remain those exceptional beings as point of reference.” Will you be that exceptional man?


Photo credit: © John Fedele/Blend Images/Corbis

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