Follow the Leader
When I was a little girl, we often played a game called “Follow the Leader”. One of us was chosen to be the leader, becoming the first in the line, and everyone in line behind us had to mimic or do what the leader did. If the leader skipped, we skipped. If the leader raised their hands, the rest of us in the line raised our hands. As a child, everyone wanted to be chosen to be the leader. Pick, me…Pick me! We thought this game was fun! Even in this childhood game, the person being the leader influences the actions of those following them.
As adults, we often shy away from leadership and few of us believe being a leader is fun. We may doubt our ability to lead or prefer to be a follower. We may question our capabilities, temperament and creativity. Whether we believe ourselves to have leadership qualities or not, we are all leaders. Wherever you live and whatever you do, people are following you. They are observing your behavior and following your lead. Are you a parent? Your children are following you. Are you employed? Those you work with are following you. Do you ever leave your house? Those you encounter are following you. Do you post on social media? Someone is following you. Whether you want to be a leader or not, you are.
Since you are a leader, the responsibility of leadership is yours whether you want it or not. How then, do you become a quality leader on a daily basis? In the old school world, this would translate to “Be your best…every day”. That’s a bit broad and I believe that broken down it translates to the following (These will be expanded upon in future blogs):
- Be honest – always. You should never be blunt or cruel, but do be politely honest. When people know you are truthful, they will listen to what you have to say.
- Speak to others out of a place of love and concern. Have their best interest in the words that you speak.
- Have a vision – What are your dreams? What do you want to accomplish? Whether you have a short-term or long-term goal, know where you want to go. Most of us would not leave on a trip without our navigator, but we often plod through life without direction. Take the time to explore where you want to go and build the steps one at a time to make that happen.
- Know reality. We often think we know what is happening around us, but often have a skewed perception. Take time to find out from those around you if your view of things are accurate.
- Be transparent. You’ll be amazed how many people you will help and how you will stumble over people that can help you – just by being transparent.
- Take some initiative. If you are complaining about something, it’s just as easy to work to fix it.
Being a leader really just means changing the world around you – a little at a time. Take the time today to discover your world and identify just whom you are leading. You can be an incredible leader!