The term ‘leadership’ has become something bigger than us, something removed from the grasp of the ordinary people and seem to be reserved for those who have been given the title, run a company or a business or lead a team.
Such people are deemed ‘leaders’ because of their position or title. Whilst formal leadership exist, there is so much more scope for informal leadership.
Everyone has leadership potential and it is not exclusive to people who have badges. Many people do not think of themselves as leaders because they do not hold such positions or authority or feel that calling themselves ‘leaders’ is arrogant , lofty or beyond their realm.
This is not so. Each and every one of us has the ability to develop and exercise leadership. Leadership is about finding everyday ways to make a difference. Making a different does not have to earth shattering or life changing. There are many things that you can do to make a difference to those around you.
Where are the opportunities to exercise leadership?
Leadership is everywhere around us …it crosses boundaries at work, at home, at play and is embedded in our daily lives and makes us who we are. It is a way of Being and Doing. It is who we are and what we do – 24/7. When you do go to work, do you put your ‘leadership hat’ on and then take it off when you leave?
Opportunities for leadership, to make a difference, to influence, to create positive change, to be a role model…can be found in abundance in the context of our daily lives through our relationships with others. Leadership is very much a social process.
Unless you are a hermit living on an island you will have relationships with other people. These may be close ones such as your husband, wife, children, boss, employees, team, peers, friends, customers. Or not so close ones such as those with schools, clubs, community, church. distant ones such as being a passenger, a customer, a passer-by…
Just having contact with others, whether it is face to face or virtual, provides opportunities for you to make a make a difference…. in the way you behave, interact, communicate, respond to situations, your warmth, tone of voice, your smile, your attitude, your demeanour … What did you do today that made a small difference?
Is leadership age related?
Leadership is a journey without a final destination. You don’t reach a point where you become the ‘best’ leader and stop there. There will always be situations, events and people who will test and challenge you and new learning to be gained.
And on that journey you have the power to inspire, shape, influence and develop others…. what a wonderful opportunity that is. Will you take that opportunity?
Making a difference is not age dependent. Take Martha Payne, the 10 year old who wrote a blog, neverseconds (which has had over 9M views) where she reviewed her school lunches and talked about healthy eating.
She hoped to raise a few hundred pounds for her favourite charity, Mary’s Meals. Martha went on to raise over £115,000 for Mary’s Meals and is impacting the lives of children in Malawi.
Don’t look to others for leadership. Or wait for them to lead. Take responsibility. Seize the opportunity and choose to make a difference. You have the power within you to affect and impact the lives of those around you. Take the first step and chose to do something small that matters to someone else. Will you?
What are your thoughts on leadership?
Do you consciously try to make a small difference in your everyday actions and behaviour?
I’m a professional coach (MA in Coaching & Mentoring) working with women and aspiring leaders to build their confidence and know how to progress, make successful changes, leverage their influence, impact, presence and communication. I am a part-time lecturer in leadership and work within organisations to develop high performing teams, mentoring schemes and facilitate skills training in leadership and management development.
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