In parts one and two we focused on bringing your inner leader forward and getting more freedom in your life. Now we’re going for the real leadership challenge and how to become a bona fide leader without a hint of dirty politics.
Who are the great leaders?
When you think of leaders, what names immediately spring to mind? Martin Luther King? Churchill? Aung San Suu Kyi? Gandhi? Lincoln? Cleopatra? Tutu? Abbott? We probably should have stopped at Tutu. But what’s the first attribute that springs to mind when you think of a great leader? If you said ‘the way they orate,’ you wouldn’t be alone. We do tend to equate great leaders with booming, fist pumping speeches rather than any actual deeds. Clearly though, true leadership isn’t just about holding a crowd.
Great leaders come in unlikely packages
Look at Bill Gates; he’s hardly yourgarden variety‘I have a dream!’ leader. Look at Richard Branson; he leads by smiling enthusiasm rather than soaringorations. And leading isn’t just about countries and corporations. Think of the dad coaching the under 10s basketball team; the mum hosting a positive parenting workshop; the teenager running an ice cream stall with friends. They’re all leading in their own way; instructing, informing, convincing, enlightening, motivating.
Lead the way your way
That’s the first key to understanding the real concept of leadership and how it can play out in your life. It’s not about suddenly going from door mouse to starring role; it’s not about some all encompassing change. It’s about distributed leadership; letting others lead when they know better than you do and taking the lead when you do. It’s about leading selectively and choosing aspects of your life where a more assertive you could make a difference. It’s also about bringing the positive nuances of your personality to the fore.
So consider of your own life. Think of work and home and friends and family. Think of things you’re not happy with or that you feel could be better; areas of your life where you’ve following someone else’s lead and got hopelessly lost. Then offer helpful directions. Lead in your own style and let it happen organically
In the last part of this leadership series I’ll give you some practical tips on taking the lead in important parts of your life.
Here’s to a world of happiness!
Dylan Forbes, B.Sc. Psych (Hon.), Pr. AINLP
For more visit www.leaderskill.com.au(added if on another site)