What comes to mind when you hear the word leadership and what has been your experience of leadership? Leadership is not about dominance or management and isn’t determined by one’s role or qualifications. Warren Bennis, a pioneer in leadership research, defines leadership as the capacity to translate vision into reality. Could it be fair to say that leadership is essential in the workplace, recreational groups, in our families and I wonder if the most import in our own lives? For example, how can we lead others if we can’t lead ourselves and to ask something of others that we are not willing to do?
In today’s opening quote by Simon Sinek “Leadership is a way of thinking, a way of acting and, most importantly, a way of communicating”. If we were to apply this to our own lives what could it look like?
- Does our way of thinking lead us to a place where we eventually want to end up? Our thinking has the power to direct our actions and determine what kind of life we could live. For example, if I believe I am good for nothing, my behaviour will follow and impact how I show up in the world and the choices that I make. It is important to keep tabs on what is occupying our mental real estate.
- Does our behaviour reflect a leadership mindset? As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. What does this look like for you? Perhaps you are best to define this, but some examples might be making eye contact when talking to others, being assertive and creating boundaries, taking care of your mental and physical health and being aware of how you talk about yourself to others.
- Does your communication serve you and others well? For example, how would you introduce someone you love to someone you have just met? So often we can talk about the qualities we admire in others and dismiss those same qualities in ourselves and even downplay them. Another example could be what happens when you have a go at something and maybe get it wrong. What does your self-talk sound like? It can be easier to be the hardest on ourselves when we don’t fulfil our expectations.
On a finishing note, what is the vision for your life and how can your thinking, behaviour and communication serve as steppingstones to get you there? What if there is a leader in all us and we just need to cultivate our potential.