Leadership is as much about everyday things as moments that shape history. In fact, it’s often what we do everyday that determines how and if we will be effective in moments of crisis. Here are a few thoughts to prepare you to become an “everyday” kind of leader.
1) Start with who you are.
If you want to be a significant leader you have to start here with who you are. Moreover, who you want to become. It’s the ins and outs of everyday situations, relationships, and decisions that shape people into leaders. Giving time and attention to private disciplines will help a person develop into a public figure that is worth following. Investing time in evaluation of everything from personal financial portfolios to personal grooming tips and appearance go a long way in setting one up to be someone others will look to for leadership. Determining what core values are important, how much time you will spend with family verses work, what disciplines you will adopt and practice regardless of the position of leadership have as much to do with the role you will play in the future as the position of leadership itself. Leaders give attention to themselves and preparation everyday, regardless of their roles; they start with who they are and focus on who they are becoming.
2) Start where you are.
You can’t lead where you are not. You may have influence in places where you are not but people follower current present leaders. Sometimes leaders can become too focused on where they want to be instead of where they are. They can become caught up in a dream instead of shaping the future from the present. Leaders must have one foot in the present and another in the future. They have to start where they are. The dire reality of current situations are often what brings about the desire for change. Leaders are able to see the changes that must be made and often feel compelled to do something about it. However, many leaders jump ship and tend to leave a “place” forging into a new territory instead of trying to create change where they are. I understand the difficulty of changing one’s current surroundings but I want to challenge all leaders to be people who are committed to bring change right where they are.
Furthermore, would-be leaders may not have a recognized position of leadership but this doesn’t mean that one can’t make a difference. You have to start where you are. If that’s at home learning to lead your own life well, then take the lead! You have to start where you are. Learning to lead oneself well is the only way to being secure as a public figure.
3) Start when you are.
What many fail to realize is that leadership is NOW! A person desiring leadership understands that decisions made in this moment determine effectiveness in the future. Just because a person doesn’t have a visible role as a leader doesn’t mean they should live like that! Becoming a leader worth following means that you start living like a leader now. You have to make decisions, adopt practices, seek wisdom, train and exercise your will as though you were leading right now! There is no better time than now. If you are waiting to become “ready” you will never ever get there. Act like a leader now. Think like one. Live like one…everyday!