For several years now I have studied, spoken, and written about leadership. I have wanted to become a better leader every day and longed to see better leaders around me. Recently however, something about the word has bothered me.
For the better part of the last year, I have pondered the word leadership?and the overtones it carries. While to me leadership has very little to do with position and everything to do with taking people around you to great destinations, the mention of the word seems to conjure up certain mental images that takes away from the true meaning of leadership.
Typically as soon as I mention leadership, I hear these kinds of responses:
I am not a manager.
I have never been a manager.
I was once a manager.
I don?t like bossing people around.
I don?t like being bossed around.
I want nothing to do with dealing with a boss or being a boss.
I am not conceited, so I don?t want to aspire to become a leader.
Can you relate?
In fact, one of the closest people to me told me a while back, ?I am tired of hearing about leadership, leadership, leadership. I love the principles, but I hate the word.? Further, I have heard people sheepishly talking about the mandatory ?leadership training? they had to go through in their company. And I can totally understand the distaste.
I have contemplated these ideas. And I have been thinking (and praying) for another word that connects with people. I would like to share with you what I’ve discovered and see if you can relate to either of these thoughts:
First, here is why I think the study of leadership (for a lack of a better word) is imperative: well-led groups of people (families, teams, businesses, or countries) are in my eyes both humanity and reality at their best. Beauty. Oneness. Purpose. Passion. Love. From the depths of leadership, greatness is launched, evil is melted, and life is spun. ?You know exactly what I am talking about if you have ever been a part of a well-led team or family.
Second, I want to propose that we think of positive impact as an alternative term for great leadership. That is what we are talking about in the first place. If you aim to make a positive impact on the people around you?if you aim to throw seeds of love and passion, if you aim to teach, to heal, to give hope and discover truths?then give them away. If you aim to be a light?if you are a coach, teacher, doctor, pastor, senator, or mother who digs to the depths of your soul to thrust people forward?then my friend, I salute you! You make a positive impact!
You are a leader. (That?s between you and I?I am not going to call you that.)
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