Leadership is about transforming internalized powerlessness

Leadership is not a position. You cannot be appointed a leader. You do not need anyone’s permission to be a leader. You don’t need to be the smartest, or the prettiest. You don’t even need a degree.

Are we the kind of people who allow a lack of positional authority to inhibit us from making a difference, from achieving significance? Our brains need victories too.

Leadership is a posture, a decision, a choice, an impulse. It is initiative.

Leadership is action. Thought of that way, it becomes a pattern of thoughts and behaviors,  a habit,  and eventually, a lifestyle.

It is initiative, rather than conformity, that is required. Leadership arises from the core (values) of who a leader is. It starts from the inside out. For people to follow your lead, it is important to demonstrate and share your values so they aren’t left guessing what they are, and to give them clear and compelling answers as to what you stand for and what they should expect.

Taking a stand clarifies  your own morality. We all choose what we stand for with what we say, what we do, and what we keep silent about. If you are going to take a stand, it forces you to make the case.

You initiate change because something does not align with your values and you envision a better way. It’s about achieving significance.

Leadership is about taking responsibility; when you take responsibility you cannot feel like a victim… taking 100% responsibility and making zero excuses, and not looking to anyone else to do it.

Leadership is about having the courage to step up despite the fear. Stepping up is seeing a need and deciding that you are the right person to do something about it. It is about doing what you can, focusing on the right things at the right time.

Choosing to act and stepping up inspires and challenges others to act. When you step up, it inspires others to believe that they now have permission to step up. People begin to stand up because they know that they will not be alone. They follow because they believe it is a better way. But deep down, people show up and step up for themselves.

Leadership is an act of influence. It is never an act of control, coercion, or domination. Authentic leaders live according to core beliefs and principles that attract others.

We should view leadership as interaction between leaders and their supporters. What goes on between leaders and their supporters is what is significant. Leadership is essentially about how we relate to others, how we view them, as mere cogs in a wheel, objects, or real people with a brain and a voice. To dehumanize people means to suppress or at least, to not honor their yearning for freedom and justice.

Leadership is truly about listening, the most important part of communication. Leaders provoke the future, create possibilities, and find ways to say Yes to life.

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I write in the margin. J'écris dans la marge.

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