Many of you have heard me say that I consider us all to have the potential to be leaders. I don’t believe you need a “title” or specific position, just a voice. Everyday, we all have places where we can step up and lead, be the positive example, help make a difference to someone.
But what about those days when you just don’t feel like being a leader?
Some days, I am admittedly a “reluctant” leader. I just don’t feel like speaking up, lending a hand, being the example. I’m tired, busy, exhausted, trying to keep my own life together. I throw myself a mini pity party, put on my best two year old pout – complete with foot stomp – and decide that today it is all about me. Unfortunately though, those days are not me at my worst.
You see, me at my worst is when I don’t even notice. I don’t make a conscious decision not to lead. I just don’t… Those are the days when life really is all about me and I’m so in my own little world that I walk right by people I love without acknowledging them. I let the door almost smack the person behind me. I don’t let that person pull out in front of me when I’m stopped at the red light. I hear a judgment about someone or talking about someone behind their back and I don’t say a word.
True leadership is sometimes just very small acts. Taking the time to listen and make another person feel valued increases their self-esteem which builds up their character and may encourage them to do the same. That is leadership. Doing the right thing, even when you don’t feel like it. That is leadership. Using your voice to encourage others rather than complaining – even on tough days. That is leadership. Being honest when it is easier to tell a lie. That is leadership.
Leadership is about inspiring others to be their best, to realize their potential and envision a better future, and to encourage and uplift.
Now you may be saying “but what about me? I need to take care of me too.” We do all need time to nurture ourselves and our souls. We do need to work on finding balance in life. But if we all give a little more of ourselves to others then we all receive more too.
My intent is to live each day being the best I can be. I fall short way too often and need gentle reminders (okay, maybe a DiNozzo smack on the head) more regularly than I’d like. Luckily I’m not finished yet. So I challenge you to join me in starting each day with the intent to step into your potential as a leader. Let’s all help each other truly be our best. Imagine what the world will be like if we do.