Why is leadership important? Someone has to lead the way, set the tone, provide the focus, have the vision, communicate the vision, and gather the right team to bring the vision, intentions, and goals to life and manifestation.
Leadership to me is collaborative.
Yet, I often thought of a leader as the one at the top who shone like a lonely star in the dark night sky. I thought leaders existed in kingdoms or corporations. It was obvious who the leaders were and that wasn’t me. For some reason, I never saw myself as a leader and yet when I reflect on the many layers and experiences of my life, I’ve been leading since my first marriage, actually since high school and probably even before then.
We are all leaders in our own way. So let’s explore the different areas of leadership.
On the personal side, someone leads a household. Either one or both parents set the tone, the rules, and the expectations. They model how leadership is done for their children, yet not all are good or even great leaders. Some lead with tyranny or an iron fist, controlling and stifling creativity and thought leadership in their children.
However, the parents who grow effective and creative leaders run their homes with love and compassion providing safe and predictable boundaries. They communicate clear expectations, and allow their children the freedom to explore, create, make mistakes, evaluate and change course. They provide a strong foundation, rudder and support. Parents who ask open-ended questions and listen with patience and not criticism teach their children how to discover their own answers and greatness. These children then become successful leaders in their respective endeavors
Coaches and teaches are leaders. They are responsible for specific outcomes and their style of running their teams and classes very much affect the results that students have.
Managers and supervisors are leaders, whether in retail, small business or corporate America. Storeowners are leaders. Solopreneurs and entrepreneurs are most definitely leaders and if they haven’t figured that out yet, it’s time to start!
The challenge is that not everyone sees their inner leader, nurtures it or takes responsibility for it. Leaders are not just the ones at the top. Everyone is a leader in some capacity.
So what kind of leader are you?
- Do you find the balance between setting the course with a solid foundation and allowing the contribution from everyone involved?
- Do you micromanage and control every aspect of what you are leading or do you encourage and allow everyone involved take responsibility and ownership for their contribution?
- Do you trust that you’ve gathered a cohesive team who connects to a common vision and each separate contribution creates the collective whole?
- Are you open to growth, change, expansion, and learning?
- Do you instill resentment, apathy, and indifference by your attitude and actions as a leader or do you hold space for your vision and your team to grow and perform in a positive and supportive environment?
When I look at my own experiences, the places where I have excelled an contributed and produced my best is when led by someone who saw my potential, gave me space to run with my ideas and encouraged me to do so, who treated me with respect and expressed gratitude.
Whether teachers, employers, or colleagues I excelled and performed with dedication, creativity and commitment to those who led with the collaborative spirit of creative leadership.
So where in your life do you lead? You may feel you have to control every aspect of your business, project, team or family. This is not leadership. This is tyranny. It does not foster or encourage creative success. You may need to undo some outdated beliefs you incurred in your life from bad leadership whether from parents, teachers, coaches, or employers. Unconsciously you may be storing experiences, emotions, and memories that feed mistrust or control issues. You may expect that people will disappoint you, that you have to do it yourself for it to get done “right” and you believe there is only one right way. Would you benefit from support or guidance in learning how to lead more creatively?
In a prior post, I described qualities of creative and successful leaders. I also created a video to help unleash your hidden leader. My colleague, Robb Braun, a Success Strategist, wrote a great post on the responsibility of leadership. Kathy Garland, who inspires visionary leaders, described 3 qualities to strengthen the leader in you. Sharon Jenkins also posted this informative piece on emerging leadership.
If how you are leading is working for you, carry on If not, we should talk.