Are You a Leader?

I get uncomfortable when I think about leadership. And yet it’s hard to avoid, in the world I move in. When I read blogs, I keep coming across phrases like recruit a small army and lead your tribe.

And I think – who am I to lead? Who am I to put myself at the head of an army or a tribe?

When I consider leadership:

  • It seems too dangerous – being out in front, being held up as an example.
  • It seems too arrogant – like saying I’m better than you.

I’m far from perfect. And the idea of leading a group of people and being responsible for them scares me.

But maybe that’s not really what it should be about. Perhaps leadership – my form of leadership – isn’t anything to do with making myself number one, or ordering people around.

Maybe leadership is more like this:

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

(John Quincy Adams)

That kind of leadership, I can do.

It’s what I do when I blog, and when I coach, and when I run ecourses. It’s pretty much my mission in life – to help other people to take the next step, to reach a little further, to become the person they truly want to be.

It’s not an arrogant or aggressive way to lead. It’s not about telling people what to do, or insisting that I’m right.

And it’s not dangerous, either. I’m open about my failings. I’m human, and I get things wrong. That helps me empathise; it helps me to say hey, we’re in this together.

Maybe you’re a leader too. Maybe your brand of leadership isn’t about standing up at the front of a room and making a lot of noise.

Instead, you’re there in the room, walking around, talking quietly to people, meeting them where they are, caring about their struggles, offering compassionate advice.

The world needs more leaders like that.

Could you be one?

Post image from Flickr user UggBoy

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