Since 2008, I have proactively studied and practiced leadership. Sometimes I experience success, and other times failure. Regardless, these years have undoubtedly?been a most exciting and harrowing?period of my life?working with people I care about in order to go great places. On this journey, periodically the question arises: Is becoming a better leader all that important??And, Is leadership important for everyone, regardless of their role in life?
The answer is a resounding yes! And here is why. The story of leadership centers around?three core qualities?that are important to any human. I want to share them with you here. Hopefully, they will both affirm your commitment to be a better leader and give you an answer to those?who ask you about the value of leadership for?everyone.
This morning was really special for me. Our office manager, Molly, led our team of twenty?in a discussion about the first chapter of the book,?The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by Dr. John C. Maxwell. We had all read the first chapter, and today we kicked off the book study. It?deeply moved?me to see how everyone on the team was on board. Not because the boss likes leadership, but because they have each?experienced how becoming a better leader can?touch their life and the lives of those?around them. They understand that regardless of your position at work, becoming a better leader matters?in every circle you are a part of, both personally and professionally.?
Many have?challenged me over the years, saying “I am not a leader,” or “I don’t want to be a leader,” or “This is not for me.” And many times I have struggled to explain why leadership is pertinent for everyone whether you flip burgers, sweep streets, parent a family, or lead a team.
But finally I have discovered how to convey?it, and I want to share that with you. Leadership matters to everyone because the core elements of leadership?mirror the core elements of humanity. ?So we all have it in us to become better leaders, and we should.
Leadership Requires Developing Oneself
Developing oneself is key to success in life. But it is also at the heart of becoming a better leader.
Leadership is the art of becoming someone whom others want to come alongside for a common purpose. Becoming.?That’s the key word. When we?were teenagers, we were not very articulate, humble, mature, or emotionally tempered. Most of us were down right annoying and awkward. Most of us were not confident; nor did we have enough experiences yet to withstand the challenges?of life. So naturally, few of us as teenagers were mature enough to?evoke?the confidence from others required for leadership. We?had to become first.
This is why we must study leadership so diligently.?Because at its heart, leadership is about becoming a better person. Don’t you want to be better? We all want to grow.?We all aim to be better versions of ourselves.?The study of leadership demands that of us above anything else.
Our human story demands we grow. Our leadership story demands we grow.
Leadership Requires Understanding Others
From the time we emerge from?the womb, we are faced with?others. A person has to grab on to us to pull us into?our first day of life. And people continue to grab onto us our entire lives.?We are also pulling on others. Being human means?being with people. So?the more we study others and how to?interact with them,?the better human experience we will have.
Again we see one of the core tenants of leadership mirror life. We must understand others.?If we don?t, we are dead in the water as leaders. We must identify how people are feeling before we can connect with them. We must connect with them before we can ask them to join us on our journey. We must learn?how to make?them tougher and how to bring out the best in them. We must?listen to their hearts and value what they value.
Our human story demands we understand others, just as our leadership story also demands we understand others.
Leadership Requires Fulfilling Dreams
Dreams?can be big or small. They can be goals or missions. And our human journey is filled with them. As a young person, I strived?to pass my classes at school. My dream was to finish high school. Then it was to win a piano competition. Then it was to drive a Chevy blazer (which I later managed to flip). And then,?I dreamed of living in Santa Monica, CA. And I did. Our lives are composed of dreams. We are always looking forward to something bigger and better. Just as in leadership, we are always looking to do something important?or go somewhere amazing together.
Life is not about standing still. And most definitely leadership is not about standing still. Just as our human story demands we fulfill our dreams, our leadership story also demands we?fulfill our dreams.
Next Step:?Write these three points and post them somewhere to remind yourself and others about the value for us all to?become better leaders.
Book I just read:?Tyranny of the Urgent! by Charles Hummel
For Further Reading: