Why leadership starts today
I am amazed at how often I hear people with a new medical diagnosis rush to learn what they might do to improve their health. As if they didn’t know the bucket of fries clogged their arteries. While this is a great sentiment, the reality is, many times it is too little too late. Supporting optimal health is not a short game, it is not a quick fix, and it is best done proactively if you really want sustainable results.
Leadership and relationships are the same way, If your leadership journey only fires up in the midst of a crisis or when you need allies guess what… your chances of glowing success are dim.
Leadership starts today. It begins with the mundane small acts, not at the board room, not at the moment of pivotal change, and certainly not as you announce a new initiative. It begins with everyday subtleties that garner trust, catch an eye, or create a smile.
Leadership begins with walking through the front doors so you can interface with the most amount of people, not for the opportunity to gloat but in an effort to connect with your staff and learn more about the heart of your organization.
Leadership begins by shutting off your phone as the meeting starts, it begins by picking up the piece of trash in the hallway, and asking the janitor how his weekend was. Each one of these small expressions of leadership is being witnessed, whether you know it or not. Each of these small actions is building your credibility.
Leadership is not what you do when people are watching, that is the frosting on the cake, that is the fun part. The work is leading when nobody is watching, it is when you arrive first and sit alone in the conference room so you can personally greet each participant as they come in.
Above all else, leadership is a state of mind. Some of the most influential leaders don’t have a degree or a title, they have passion, drive, and willingness to show up in an effort to make others rise, to push the vision forward, and recognize that they are leaders because of others not despite others.
If you lead by these tenants you will find that people will follow when you ask, they will work incredibly hard because you asked. Not because of your title, but because you invested in them before you needed them.
At the end of the day people want two things:
To feel valued
To be acknowledged
Your job as a leader is to do this for them, to see and encourage potential. It is free, it is easy, and it is fast.
Cultivating leadership is like preventative medicine, it only works if you start now, before there is a problem. Commit to learning each day, push yourself a little harder, hold yourself accountable for one more action. One step at a time. You can do it!
My Challenge to You:
How do you show up? Are your actions derived from a need to be recognized or in an effort to serve others?
What is one action you might incorporate today that is an opportunity to connect and invest in one more person?
How can you subtly inspire others without using your words?