There are leadership blogs and posts – Top # of Traits of a Successful Leader and Leaders do these # of things every day. In researching this blog, I even found this one: Top 100 Leadership and Influence Blogs. (seriously?) The ego reads these and goes… OK, I’m good – yep, got that one… OK, yep, I’m in the 5am club; OK yep, I’m a good listener, OK yep, I’m brave… Ego says, booya – I am a leader.
Hold up chief, not so fast!
I have met quite a few leaders and to be honest, I have been a little disappointed in many of them. On stage, the persona is one person and then behind the scenes, I have been introduced to an entirely new person. I get so disappointed because I thought I wanted to be them when I grow up. My heroes are the good people who understand their values in life and live and die by them. A couple of them are multi-millionaires, most of them live in a sub-division home in a nice town just like mine. I value people, not their stuff and certainly not their titles.
A person who I recently met said two things that changed my perspective on leadership.
#1. Do they like it? (given the answer was yes)
#2. We would love to have them.
BOOM! Leadership is a privilege.
My manager at IBM, Joanna Galifi has been the most influential leader in my life. She saw my potential. She challenged me. I had so many re-do’s and re-writes. I learned an enormous amount. She believed in me when I didn’t. She knew I loved what we were doing and she always valued my contributions. I always knew she loved having me on her team and so I pushed my limits. Joanna treated leadership as a privilege. Without Joanna, I would not own Moxie Trades.
If you are a leader – self-appointed or not, THE PRIVILEGE IS YOURS not the one being led. Man, if you don’t see that, exit immediately, hang your hat, close the door, find your mission – this isn’t it. Don’t be a martyr, that’s boring and it’s an excuse lacking merit.
What’s a leader to do? Everything. Everything possible, everything they can think of.
For those being led, practice gratitude and find the one. Don’t resign yourself to the fact that whatever “this” is, is easy, convenient, cheap and can’t change. Stop complaining that you don’t like “how it is.” Step up or step out. Find the leaders where values align, push the boundaries, be fearless.
Best leader you can be is an example to your kids so show ’em how it’s done. BE THE PERSON YOU HOPE YOUR CHILDREN BECOME. The universe will hear you and rises to your words every time.
A leader sees potential given that soul meets skill. Once a true leader sees this, then the privilege becomes theirs. How utterly amazing it is to influence anyone to see the best in themselves and perform at their highest level.
I get goosebumps just thinking about it and I’ll sign up to that any day, every day, all day long.