I have been thinking about this for such a long time. Yet, many of us believe this isn't possible. Why do we identify leadership as such an outward-facing concept? When I googled the term, it became apparent quite quickly why we have this perception of leadership.
The action of leading a group of people or an organisation.
The state or position of benign a leader.
The leaders of an organisation, country etc.
I don't know about you, but observing the people in these roles worldwide, I don't see the greatest examples of something I aspire to. Instead, it makes me think about not wanting to be a leader. Compromising integrity for the sake of power, self-interest or the dollar.
It is also easy to see why most of us don't see ourselves with the capacity to be a leader by the default of our job position or role in society.
However, something about that doesn't sit well with me. There is a disjuncture between what we see as a leader in contemporary society and authentic leadership qualities.
When we strip back the idea of leadership into qualities, I can see the bridge where we can start to become the leader that's already within and partake in active citizenship in our lives.
For myself, I was lucky to be introduced to the idea of Everyday Leadership that Drew Dudley shared in his fantastic Ted Talk. This idea is that we have made leadership bigger than ourselves. Still, in reality, leadership is within and evident within your motivations, values and daily actions. The beauty of rethinking leadership from this lens is it creates a foundation for the unique leadership perspective each of us can bring to being an everyday leader. There is no rigid definition, but space to explore what being a leader means for you.
Once I grasped this idea, I began to implement this at a grassroots level in the work I was involved in. It also penetrated many other areas of how I led my life. Knowing about the leader in me, I began to take radical responsibility for myself, forming a new blueprint for my decision-making, overcoming issues, finding new possibilities, and building the life of my dreams. I was no longer so scared of taking personal responsibility and I gained a new level of empowerment.
I saw these same ideas transcend into my humanities studies. The context of the world often defines how we can engage with it. Media perpetuates the issues, increasing stress and feelings of helplessness in a chaotic world. Right now, there is war, inflation, and climate stress, which all impact our daily lives. The media, in all forms, reinforces how hard this is and that we are victims of global external issues. Of course, many warrant this, including the wars, poverty, and inequalities in many forms.
However, what happens if we take back some of our power from mass media, politics and societal convention to discern our own leadership agility. What happens if we release the grips of these narratives from corporations and start to find new solutions.
That is what Be the Leader in Me is about. No, I will not tell you what leadership is and how to be one. I will take you on a journey to discover your leadership blueprint that can be activated in many aspects of your life. Where you will lead from a proactive place rather than reacting to the next challenging thing coming our way. By building your own personal agency, you reinforce your own resilience to not only overcome the waves, but you will also learn to define how you engage in life, aligned to who you are.
I have experienced times of bullying and harassment in my life. It was a very stressful time, but on that journey, I immediately knew that I would act within my integrity despite dealing with some people who were acting aggressively. I knew from this experience that I also never wanted it to happen again. That's when I took self-responsibility and learnt more about harnessing my communication skills in a way that aligned with my personal values and ambitions while not bringing others down. I have followed dreams, made life-changing decisions that were seen externally as a "risk", and tackled head-on new adversities that have come my way. This journey extended beyond that. It has been a coming of home, relearning how I thrive my way, not prescribed by society. That is why I have become extremely passionate about this for my clients, who are also ready for that fresh start in their lives.
Alas, Be the Leader in Me is born. A place to refine and build your own version of leadership. A place that empowers you to continue to make decisions and take actions that feel true to you and not what you may feel pressured to do. By reclaiming the leader in you, you are also elevating different aspects of your life that may feel a little out of control right now.
One of the biggest takeaways is the mindset you activate. That will opens doors, rather than close them sourcing new possibilities for your life. That is what being the leader in me has done in my life.
Many leadership programs tell you to be something to be a leader. Again strive to be something outside who you are. The biggest takeaway for anyone in the Be the Leader in Me program is developing the skillset to discern between what's happening on the outside and within your individual self. By distinguishing this, you create a space between the outside world and your inner world, you can begin to anchor into how you are a leader when in your truth. It is much more holistic. You don't need to be anything else but you. It is much more tailored towards the person you are. It is more empowering to the life you lead at an individual level and for the important people in your life.
That is Be the Leader in Me.