What Is Leadership?

Leadership is inspiring others to be more and do more through your character and message.

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Thus, we are all leaders.

Leadership is not reserved for heads of organizations or government, it’s something we all must cultivate and practice.

Managers are leaders. Individual Contributors are leaders. Co-Workers are leaders to each other. Parents are leaders. Friends are leaders.

Everyone, if they choose to look for opportunities, can lead.

Please, please, please understand that leadership is not a title or a position held by a few. To think that way is give away the power and potential we all have to make things – and ourselves – better.

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Let’s break down the above definition (because every word is meaningful . . . ).

Inspiring: not telling, or coercing, or shaming-into, or forcing, but creating a vision of the future (whether it be five minutes from now, or five decades) that: 1) people can see themselves in and 2) people can grow individually by contributing to the larger vision and 3) is about something that matters.

Be More: people want to grow, and contribute; how can you draw upon this natural desire people have? How can you connect who people want to be with the goals and vision of the organization (or family) (or team) (or group)?

Do More: people want to work hard, at least when they believe in what they’re doing; how can you connect the vision with people’s intrinsic desire to work hard and create something that matters?

Your Message: how do you language your vision? Do you speak to possibility and the need to do something meaningful? Do you understand who people are and incorporate what they value into your vision? Is your message consistent? Is it positive and accurate? Is it heart-felt? Do you really believe you?

Your Character: quite simply, are you someone people will follow? And this means you . . . leadership starts within. Do you follow-through? Do you tell yourself the truth? Do you take responsibility for what you want and what you do? Unless and until you do, you will not be a leader. (Oh sure, you might be in charge, but you’re no leader.)

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We are all called to leadership. And leadership starts within. You must lead yourself before you can ever hope to lead others.

The world is increasingly complex, inter-connected and the pace of change is only accelerating.

The world needs leaders.

Will you step up?

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