Bonus Episode: Leadership Does Not Require a Title
In my view a leader is not limited to the person heading up a group. It is well recorded in history that certain famous individuals became leaders, not because they sought the role. Rather, they were living according to their values and following their conscience and that inspired others to join them on their journey and they were nudged into taking authority.
I remember from my corporate days learning the distinction between the position of leader and the actual leader. Though often the same person had the position of leader and was the actual leader, it wasn’t always the case.
The person who had the title or position of leader was not always the person that eyes wandered to when important announcements were being made. The person the eyes wandered to, that was the person that people were actually taking their cues from. However that person responded to the announcement would influence how other people responded.
So what had this person be so special?
Well, they usually were really good at forming close relationships. They didn’t have to be outgoing but people had a sense of who they were as an individual and where they stood on common issues.
They were responsible. Meaning they would respond to what was going on around them. They weren’t waiting for someone to give them direction. If they saw a problem they would get involved. Appropriately or inappropriately, it didn’t matter; they were somehow involved.
These people had an awareness of themselves. They knew what they liked and what they didn’t like. Though they could compromise and collaborate with others they didn’t comply because they didn’t have an opinion – they were just choosing their battles and thinking about the good of the group.
This awareness also extended to their strengths and weaknesses. Though we are all continually getting to know more about ourselves these individuals seemed to have a better sense of what they wanted to call attention to and what areas or characteristics to downplay.
They also knew their sphere of influence. They knew who would go along with their ideas and who would need convincing and how to convince them.
Sometimes these individuals could be convinced to take on the position of leader if they didn’t have it already and sometimes their preference was to lead from the trenches.
In my view, someone is “taking the lead” when they are responding to what is going on inside them or around them. They are not waiting for permission to respond or to respond in a way that feels good for them – they are responding.
When I first started the Women Taking the Lead podcast my thought was I wanted to inspire women to take initiative and be change makers in their professions or their businesses. But since launching my intentions have broadened.
I want to inspire women to take initiative and be change makers in any area of their life they are drawn to.
And here is what I know: when you make changes in one area of your life it ripples over to other areas because in order to cause change we have to change who we are being. When we change who we are being in one area we naturally take that evolved version of ourselves into other areas.
If you are taking the lead in your health and wellness and are gaining confidence in that area, that will ripple into having more confidence in your finances, your relationships, your spiritual awareness and so on.
If taking the lead for you means you’re going to do something about the lack of fun you’ve been experiencing lately I’m here to support you. I know that by making sure you are having more fun you’ll have more energy and enthusiasm overall that you can put toward anything you’d like.
If taking the lead means you finally say no to that group or association that no longer serves you, I’ve got a virtual high-five for you. Because I know that by saying no to this obligation you’ll be able to say yes and give more of yourself to the things that are truly important to you, reflect your values and feed your soul.
Here are some steps you can take to begin taking the lead in your life:
1. Take stock of where your attention is drawn
Your attention might get pulled in certain directions because you want more or you want less of whatever is getting your attention.
For me, right now my fitness and nutrition keep pulling on my attention – mostly because I would like to feel tired less and have more energy.
2. Visualize what you want
How would life be if you had more of what you want and less of what you don’t want?
Really imagine the details of what that would look like.
How would it feel in your body? How much fun would you be having? What would you be doing with your extra time, energy or money?
3. Set goals
Choose goals wisely and choose goals that are worthy of you. Choose goals that will take you from where you are now to what you visualized.
For the example I gave above, I’m being more active and moving more. I’m getting more vegetables in throughout the day and I’m cutting back on alcohol. Alcohol for me is an energy drainer but it may not be for you. Pay attention to your body when you consume different foods and drinks
4. Declare your intention
Don’t keep it to yourself, tell others about it. Talking about your goals out loud will make them more real and will give you some energy and momentum.
5. Lastly, take action
Respond. Respond in a way that is true to you and honors your values. Continue to share your progress with trusted friends and partners.
Now that’s what I call taking the lead in your life.
Do you have a particular area in mind? Share it below!