When I step on a stage, my first question is usually something like ‘Who in here classifies themselves as a leader?’ You may not be as shocked as I am to hear that not many people raise their hand. In fact, I usually need to coax them to think about what a leader really is, and I get a few more hands.
The English dictionary states that a leader is: the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.
Whoa – I think the word ‘commands’ is what throws us off or maybe the fact that we believe that we have to be an expert to be a leader.
This is wrong. So very wrong.
In fact, you only really have to be one step ahead in order to lead. Now let’s all take a deep breath, and soak that in.
Here is the deal, most people don’t know WHO they are leading. So the scary part is in the unknown. Once you do that work (you know, the ‘define your perfect client’ work) – things become more clear. Like you almost picture yourself as the momma duck with your fresh baby ducklings waddling behind you.
Right, because in order to lead – those babies might even be on your heels. This is awesome, why? Because then it pushes us to walk a little faster.
Those followers force us to be one step ahead. I remember being in the grocery store with my Mom and begging to push the cart, cause I wanted to be just like her. The thing is I would oftentimes run the front of the cart into her ankle – I was SO eager to be close. This is what you want as a Mom and as a leader.
In fact, I just started a monthly leadership lunch with my team at tena.cious and we discussed people in our lives that we looked up to as a signifiant leader. Some of the qualities were profound, here are a few:
» Creates a path to get ‘there’
» Big vision thinker
» Push you before you are ready
» On trend
» Assertive or straight forward
Our lists were two pages long and this was compiled from almost 10 people, our answers vary but I think I could sum it up » they care. Not one of the people said ‘they are the smartest person I know’ or ‘they were super successful’ or ‘they knew more than me’…Do you get it?We all have people watching and waddling behind us ready to knock right in to us and hopefully, if we are lucky – they start leading their own little waddlers.Leaders create leaders. They don’t do this by being the best at something or by having all of the answers – they do this by caring and showing the way.
Nothing is scary about caring.
you got this,