A few weeks ago, someone on Twitter asked the question, “what qualities do you think a leader should have”? And well, I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
I think many of us don’t really think of ourselves as leaders because we’re, “Just Mom’s”. But guess what, that’s so far from the truth. In fact, we’re the first leadership example that our kids will see and frankly, we need to start taking that more seriously.
When you think of a leader in your community, what are the first things you think of? I hope that the words hard-working, diligent, intelligent and gracious come to mind. More often than not though, that’s not what we think of. We usually think things like impersonal, unapproachable, power-hungry, etc. For me personally, I think that’s a shame but quite often, it’s a reality.
We need to do better. We need to recognize the roles that we hold, and honor them. I truly believe that whatever we choose to do, we need to do it to the best of our ability. Our choices should be made with purpose and consideration. Especially when it comes to times and situations where we’re influencing others, such as our children, friends, colleagues, etc.
If you’ve been elected to public office, you need to remember that your job is to represent the people who you serve. You are not in that position to bring glory to yourself or your office. You were elected to that role, take it seriously and do your stinkin’ job.
If you’ve been blessed with children, you need to remember that you are their leader and that those little faces are following your example. C’mon, how many times have we caught ourselves saying the exact same phrases that our Mothers said to us? Our children will become “us”, never forget that. Ever.
If you have a job outside of your home, there is always someone looking to you for help or instruction. These are the moments that make strong leaders, don’t let them slip by. Even if you’re on the bottom of the so-called ” corporate ladder”, there will always be a situation that can be used to encourage, promote or stand-out.
When you’re out with friends or family members, and you see that they’re being treated unjustly or are being the aggressors themselves. Stand up and say, “that’s enough”. We can never become our best if we’re being torn down or tearing others apart. Being a good example is an excellent place for leadership to begin.
We are leaders at work, in playgroups, at church, while we’re driving down the road, or posting on Facebook. Leadership opportunities are around us ALL the time, embrace them and use them to make a change in the world around you.
Being a good leader has nothing to do with being a tyrant or bossing people around. Don’t ever fall into the trap of believing that the louder and more aggressive individual is the one that should be leading the way. That doesn’t work.
Instead, look at leadership as an opportunity to lift up the people around you. Leaders look at the strengths and qualities in the people around them, and encourage them to use them to their best of their abilities. Leaders bear the brunt of responsibility while quite often letting the glory go to someone else. Leaders sometimes say No, but they don’t belittle or demean. Leaders treat people with grace while remaining humble themselves. Being a leader is NEVER easy, but it is always worth it.
I’m in no way saying that we shouldn’t work hard to achieve great things, so please don’t think that. Push forward for promotions at work, enjoy awards that you earn, and be proud of everything good that you do. Just always honor the journey that you took to get to the top, those struggles, trials and people left behind are what helped you get there. As a leader in your field, use these opportunities to show grace and thankfulness.
Leaders challenge people to become better. To step out of their comfort zone. To shine. To grow. Leaders make a difference. They leave a mark. Their absence leaves a hole. They change the world. Leaders are normal, everyday people. Leaders are you and me.
Please don’t EVER think that you are not a Leader, just make sure that the trail you’re blazing is worth following.