“Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar.” – Orrin Woodward.
Are you waiting for an opportunity to advance into a leadership role?
Have less experienced or qualified people passed you over?
The challenge may be that you have been waiting for permission to lead. The reality is that the leader must show up before the money, the success, or the title.
This week I sat down with Social Media Strategist Turiya Hodge. Learn why we believe leadership is a mindset and a way of being. Why leadership is not position or title, but a choice each of us must make.
We are conditioned to wait for people (boss, colleague, family member, friend, etc.) to give us permission to lead. OR, we wait for that next promotion, that next job, that next opportunity to step into a leadership role. Consider, you already have what you need to lead, and all you need to do is decide to embrace the leader within you.
What is transformational leadership?
The first and only person I lead is myself! These words make up the mantra of a transformational leader. These leaders understand that title and position do not give you the power to lead. Instead, this leadership style is earned by how effectively you lead yourself. It is to inspire others to become their best self. It is when your choices and behavior influence another person to take inspired action. Dwight D. Eisenhower said it well, “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” It’s not about your family pedigree or the school you attended. It requires very little authority to lead. Leadership is something you do.
The leadership journey is not short, and it’s certainly not easy. There is no roadmap for leadership. It is a choice. The reality is you must decide to lead, and you must lead regardless of what comes your way. To lead is to unleash the inner strength, courage, and boldness that lives within you. It is to face whatever comes your way with a solution-focused, innovative mentality, stepping out and going first.
Leadership is an activity that creates alignment. In other words, what I say, what I do and what I feel is in alignment. When this happens, you become attractive. What makes you magnetic is that we love people who inspire us. For example, when Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his iconic I Have A Dream speech, we were inspired by the boldness and audacity of his vision and the person he would have to become to fulfill that vision. People standing still don’t inspire us. We are interested and inspired by those people who cast a vision much more significant than themselves. The boldness of their imagination attracts us and leaves us wanting to partner and align with those leaders.
Leadership is messy! Why? Because pursuing new ideas and uncertain outcomes is scary. Being a leader requires you to overcome feelings of uncertainty, self-doubt and discouragement. Simon Sinek says, “We call them leaders because they go first, because they take the risk before anybody else does because they will choose to sacrifice so their people will be safe and protected.”
Transformational leaders understand that their mindset and way of being are crucial. These leaders intentionally and purposefully put themselves in a position where their skills can be shaped and refined. They are lifelong learners, committed to continuous growth and to make their best better. Failures and challenges are an opportunity to expand and attract success.
Use these leadership tips to begin to navigate the journey of leading yourself first.
Leadership Tip #1
Who am I required to become to get to the next level of success?
Leadership Tip #2
Write down 3-4 habits or ways of being that align with who you are becoming.
Leadership Tip #3
Take inspired action in the face of fear and uncertainty.
In the words of John Maxwell, “Everything rises and falls upon leadership.” And a leader is someone who takes people to a place they could not have gone alone.