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I was a witness to a miracle the other night. In truth, I’ve been witnessing a miracle for the past three years.

I’ve known a friend of mine (we’ll call her Lucy) since 2006. Lucy was a quiet worry-wart who tiptoed through life without much fanfare. She was a classic follower. She followed what she was told at work, at church and at home. Then Lucy lost her husband to heart disease in 2009. This brought her a little out of her comfort zone, but she remained a consistent follower.

One Sunday afternoon in 2010, Lucy was headed out to a street fair in a nearby town and while walking from her car, she tripped on the curb and went hands first to the ground, fracturing her wrist. The ambulance soon arrived and so began her transformation.

Lucy went from having a compound fracture in her wrist to being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) all in about 24 hours. After nearly a full year of treatment, Lucy came out on the other side cancer-free. She also emerged a leader.

Lucy now advocates in the community for cancer research, treatment and legislation to aid patients. She speaks openly and boldly about her journey and testifies constantly of the love and support she received from those around her. She encourages others to step up and help someone facing a similar challenge. Lucy remains humble and at times quiet, but she isn’t an unassuming follower anymore. Rather she is bold leader in the advocacy for cancer patients and others who suffer and are in need. This has also translated into leadership in her church and work as well.

The other night I was there when Lucy was named the Honored Patient by the Leukemia Lymphoma Society (LLS) and was called upon to address the 1,500+ participants at LLS’s premiere event, Light the Night. It is a privilege to be her friend and to have witnessed this transformation from a follower to a leader.

Lucy tells folks that she’s been called to lead. That God kept her around to serve others and to serve with joy. A principled leader feels the tug of life towards something greater, notices the tug and takes action.

Where are the struggles in your life inviting you to take the lead?

Jeff HarmonJeff Harmon is the president of Brilliance Within Coaching & Consulting which specializes in developing servant leaders while helping them translate their strategies into actionable plans that drive business results. Jeff is the author of “The Anatomy of a Principled Leader.” Jeff has been developing leaders for nearly 20 years and has led the execution of over 100,000 hours of business strategy for information technology, financial services and non-profit organizations.

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