I work for a company called The Leadership Program, which as I like to joke, is a pretty generic name for a pretty remarkable company. Because what does that word even mean, leadership?
Too often people associate leadership with a status to be earned, or a title that bestows power. Certainly, under some circumstances, those definitions are accurate. But I like to think of leadership differently.
I have been at the company for more than fifteen years now, in part because the company holds true a belief that I hold dear—we all can be leaders, and each of us has our own unique brand of leadership to contribute to the world. The question is if, when, and how we actually ever step into that leadership.
Because leadership, from that perspective, has nothing to do with a job title or position. Instead of a status, leadership is your way of interacting with the world. Leadership is your contribution to every interaction, every relationship, every group you are a part of. Leadership is how you choose to live your life. Sometimes that leadership might roar, and sometimes it might whisper. Sometimes it is a speech from a bull horn, and sometimes it is a quiet glance.
So, the quiet co-worker who stays in their cubicle and doesn’t ever talk at staff meetings? That co-worker might best step into their leadership by working hard to provide the platform for another to speak. The college student who has a developing passion for art? That student might best step into their leadership by showing younger students that you can follow your dreams. The full-time mom who juggles the schedules of multiple children? That mom might best step into her leadership by ensuring that those children never go a day without knowing they are loved. There are as many ways to step into leadership as there are people living on this earth.
Finding our leadership is about finding our best selves, and then figuring out how and where to contribute our best selves to the world. Stepping into our leadership is about having the courage to do just that.
So how will you step into your leadership today?