There is a common perception that “Leadership” is an awarded, external status. I strongly disagree.
Let’s start by defining the word: leader+ship
English: Leader (primary or first, someone who leads, guides, conducts) + ship (state, condition, quality)
In other words, Leadership is:
- The state you are leading from
- What you prioritize
- The energy you bring
Leadership is NOT:
- Your job title
- Dependent on if you manage people at work
- Any external status at work or in life
Here are 5 ways you can join me in disrupting and reclaiming the term:
Leadership is not an exclusive status to be awarded, it is not an invite-only club that requires certain achievements to be a part of. Anyone at any position has the ability to lead. This starts with taking an active role in your relationship to yourself. Leadership starts with self, the inner work that you do will have a ripple effect on people and situations around you.
Leadership is not assimilating to a leadership archetype you have seen bring someone else success. Authenticity is the only sustainable way to lead. Of all the qualities associated with leadership, none will be as impactful or fulfilling as your own authentic style. Building confidence in your strengths and being realistic about your growth areas will help flex your authenticity muscle.
Leadership is not always knowing the right answer. Right and wrong are not opposites; they are 2 sides of the same coin. Being curious is the opposite of both right and wrong. Leaders chose curiosity over being right. Leaders chose curiosity over assigning blame.
Leaders do not always know what to do, leaders do not need to control situations or people. Uncertainty is unavoidable. Leadership is the journey to embracing instead of fearing uncertainty. Along this journey you will improve your confidence, trust in yourself, and ability to gracefully adapt to the un-anticipatable.
5. A Life-Long Pursuit
Leadership is not something to be achieved, completed, or checked off. There is always more to see and learn about ourselves and the world. Leadership is learning to have compassion for who you are today, and where you are presently on your journey. This is a skill that will translate to all areas of your life and all situations you find yourself in.