Sure, there are some but not enough. And that’s where you come in.
It’s time for you to recognize and utilize your inherent ability to lead. This is the moment in which you step up and become a leader.
You may be thinking, “I’m not a leader,” or “I’m not the type of leader who can make an impact on the world.” But have you considered that you might be the perfect person to make a difference in your unique way?
What is a leader?
Let’s take a closer look at the definition of the word “leader.” The most common meanings are:
- Something that leads
- Something that ranks first
- Someone who leads, guides, or directs a group
- Someone who rules or inspires others
- One whom others follow
The definition of “leadership” is the office or position of a leader or the actions related to leading or being a leader. When you lead, you take on a leadership position. Then you guide, direct, rule, inspire, and motivate others to follow you or your teachings, wisdom, directions, suggestions, or strategies.
It’s possible that your definition of “leader” negates your leadership ability or belief that you can lead. The word might bring to mind a variety of images that don’t describe you in the least. For example:
- A political leader
- A person heading up a cause or movement
- An explorer going “where no man has gone before”
- An inventor making it possible for people to do something new
- A CEO who leads a company above and beyond the competition
- A manager or boss
But there are other types of leaders that might describe you better, like:
- School principal
- Classroom mom
- Boy or Girl Scout leader
- Patient advocate
- Inspirational or motivational speaker
- Homeowners Association president (or board member)
I’m sure you can think of other examples of leaders you know or leadership roles you fill. For instance, maybe you are someone who always rallies your group of friends for activities. Or possibly you have a neighbor who likes to gather the other neighbors for neighborhood improvement projects.
A Broader View of Leadership
I spent a bit of time researching more expansive definitions of leaders. Let me share two of them that stood out.
The first comes from an article on Mindtools.com:
“Leaders help themselves and others to do the right things. They set direction, build an inspiring vision, and create something new. Leadership is about mapping out where you need to go to “win” as a team or an organization; and it is dynamic, exciting, and inspiring.”
I love this positive view of leadership. Indeed, leaders are visionaries who can inspire and motivate others to join them in their mission to create something new and exciting.
And on Chieflearningofficer.com, Jacob Morgan writes:
“In my mind, a leader is someone who does more than just lead people. They have to be driven by the right motivation and make a positive impact on the people around them…A leader is someone who can see how things can be improved and who rallies people to move toward that better vision.”
I see leaders as those with strong values and a deep desire to be of service. They dare to take action toward a better future, and people naturally want to join their movement.
These are the true definitions of “leader”—those who inspire, motivate, contribute, serve, have vision, and rally people together to make the dream a reality.
That’s the type of leader I aspire to be. What about you?
4 Reasons to Become a Leader
As I said, the world needs leaders. But you don’t have to take on the entire world to fulfill your responsibility as a leader. There are many ways—small and large—to lead.
But if you are still wondering why you should take on a leadership role, I can think of four good reasons.
1. Your family and friends need you to lead them.
You may not have aspirations to lead a cause or movement that makes the world a better place, and that’s okay. Not everyone is cut out for that role. But I bet you care about your family and friends and want to see them thrive.
So lead them. Your friends and family need a strong leader, too.
Especially over the last two years, people have struggled to remain positive, feel connected, have a sense of personal power, find hope, and continue to thrive. Unfortunately, your friends and family are not exempt from such challenges.
That’s why they need you to lead them. So, be a force for good in their lives.
And your leadership efforts with those you are in closest contact with will have a far-reaching impact. Your actions will ripple out beyond your circle of connections to the circle of contacts of the people you touch and beyond.
Think the Butterfly Effect…
2. Your clients, audience, and followers need you to lead them.
Suppose you are a coach, author, healer, blogger, expert, authority, or influencer of any type. In that case, it’s your obligation to lead your audience. Plus, they already trust you, which makes it easier to guide them toward a solution, answer, or a better future.
Your clients, customers, readers, or audience already see you as a leader. So provide them with new insights, strategies, and data to guide them in a supportive manner and positive direction.
These people follow you because they believe in you. They look up to you, so be the role model they need. Be the leader they seek.
Always remember that you have the opportunity to lead each person who comes into contact with you. You can make a difference in their lives and show them the path to a better future.
3. You are already a leader (even if you don’t know it).
We all have inherent leadership qualities. Sometimes, though, we don’t realize this because we have stuffed them so far down inside we don’t recognize ourselves as leaders.
If you don’t see yourself as a leader, no one else will. So take on that identity; be a leader.
And realize that people already look to you as a leader. So take an accounting of your life. Who do you lead?
Examine all life arenas. Maybe you direct at your church, where you are on a committee. Possibly you lead in your home, where you are a strong role model and teacher for your children. Or perhaps you guide your clients or your co-workers.
We all lead someone—even if unconsciously or inadvertently. Acknowledge that—then amplify your leadership ability.
4. The world needs more leaders.
You probably already realize that the world needs influential and conscious leaders right now, but have you imagined that you could be one of those leaders?
You can lead—and make a difference—even if it simply by allowing your inner light to shine a bit brighter. That impacts those you encounter.
Or lead whenever the opportunity arises. For instance, when a situation seems severe and heavy, lighten it up with positivity and hope or even laughter. That’s leadership, too.
Every day, you have many chances to put your leadership talents to use. You can lead your church group, your local homeless shelter, or the volunteers who play with the dogs at the animal shelter near your home. You can create and lead a group that fosters equal rights in your children’s school, or you write a book, start a blog, or launch a podcast that starts a movement or supports a cause of your choosing.
Think about the things that matter to you. What are you most passionate about? How can you step up and lead in those areas?
Do you have a strong sense of calling or purpose? Then, heed the calling and fulfill your purpose as a leader.
You can start your leadership efforts small and remain small. But stay open to the possibility that your grassroots effort will go viral. How cool would that be?
Do Your Part
I’ve taken a strong “all for one and one for all” stance during the pandemic. I see myself as part of my local and global community. And I believe we must all do our part—however small—to help each other.
To me, leadership is an “all for one and one for all” endeavor. I lead because it’s the right thing to do—it’s part of my value system.
Have you ever been in a situation where someone stepped up to lead when no one else did…and it made all the difference? Can you recall such an experience?
For example, maybe you were at the scene of an accident and recall how one person began to guide the bystanders to take specific actions. Because that individual stepped up as the leader, the injured person lived.
Where I live in Placitas, NM, occasionally a wild mustang gets injured. It’s one or two brave community members who show up to aid the wounded animal. These same people are vocal about how locals need to approach the horses living in the community. And they are the ones who rallied to save the wild horses and created sanctuaries for them when they were threatened by those not as favorable about their presence. They are community leaders.
I work with many writers who have a cause or movement they want to start. For example, their book might support parents of autistic children, improve the educational system in the United States, or help people get over heartbreak. These authors are leaders, too, and they advance their causes with their published words. As a result, their messages have a worldwide impact.
The same is true of podcasters and bloggers. They lead their audiences.
In each example, the people do their part, no matter how small or large. They step into leadership and become leaders.
Now, it’s your turn.
What, who, and how will you lead? Tell me in a comment below. And if you would like to learn how to become a better leader, here.
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