What’s In Your Collection? General Leadership Lessons Can Transcend Across The Ages
True leadership ability has no face. It has no title. Leadership isn’t limited to the few, but possible by the masses. It can be practiced by anyone.
Leadership is not about demonstrating power but encouraging it. Through that encouragement, it sets the tone and example for one’s environment, partners, colleagues, and acquaintances. It’s about being able to make the most out of one’s surroundings, through that encouragement and other proactive steps.
Leadership is not just going along with the crowd due to what’s popular or simple, but instead seeking betterment and improvement for all in new ideas where and when available, necessary, and possibly risky.
Much like confidence, leadership is not a learned skill but a realization of an ability, followed by ongoing refinement. You could even call it an awakening.
“Today is a snapshot in one sense — the specifics — but the general lessons and foundations of leadership and other skills are yours for the taking to carry with you.”
All that being said, both desire and drive must be present in order for someone to both absorb leadership ideals in their best forms and sustain their effectiveness. Therefore, not everyone will necessarily be as equally effective in leadership because desire and drive vary from person-to-person.
So, do any of these points sound as if they are limited to only one particular age or group?
No, they don’t.
The same leadership abilities and lessons exist at every level of someone’s development spectrum, from the early and later years of education, into the initial years of a career, to culmination in the later stages of what someone has found for him- or herself professionally. A similar and parallel structure can be utilized to reflect one’s personal life — the early, middle, and later years of his or her journey’s arch.
Although the specifics of one’s environment might adjust from one phase or endeavor to the next, where the lingo, specialty, and players may be different, the same foundational leadership development lessons can be utilized across those various periods.
Generally speaking, the four reinforced leadership pillars below can exist from the youngest person who is coming into their own to the oldest professional who’s already experienced a great majority of their lessons.
Attitude & Openness
This group reflects what someone’s overall attitude is toward their environment. How open are they to taking in what is around them, evaluating it, adding value, and putting it back into the environment? How do they work with their current environment? Do they interact in such a way to create the best value for all or merely for themselves?
Knowledge & Influence
One step beyond the previous group, which considered how someone interacts with his or her environment, this group delves into what someone provides? Beyond considering how open they are to interacting with their environment, what do they add to their environment? What value are they providing and utilizing to enhance their environment?
Curiosity & Learning
Another step beyond considering how they interact with the environment and what they provide — what do they take away from the environment in order to learn as much as they can for both themselves and the environment? Learning about their surroundings, missions, and goals prepares them for the next challenge to be faced.
Commitment & Investment
Beyond what they add today, how are they taking into account how their actions today will carry their environment, group, or organization tomorrow? Leadership is not only about getting through what the challenge is today, but preparing for what both the challenges and opportunities may be in the group’s future, even if said leader is no longer there.
So, there they are. Those are four overarching groups and considerations which can be utilized for one’s leadership lessons in their environment, no matter where they are in their life and/or career.
Realizing and refining these abilities can take place at any age; it merely has to be pointed out so that the individual in question becomes aware of what is going on around them and what the possibilities might be.
“Much like confidence, leadership isn’t a learned skill but a realization of an ability, followed by ongoing refinement. You could even call it an awakening.”
We should all remember that regardless of our shifting from one phase, career, or position to the next, we should not forget the lessons of the past. Yes, we might not be dealing with the same work tools, people, or even lingo, but we should always consider the four factors above as we make our way from one environment to the next: Attitude & Openness, Knowledge & Influence, Curiosity & Learning, and Commitment & Investment.
This is why leadership coaching can work across the groups — it is not necessarily about the specifics of the environment, but the person’s awareness of themselves, their environment, and all the available resources.
Today in your career is a snapshot in one sense, anchored in the specifics of that job or profession, but the general lessons and foundations of leadership and other skills are yours for the taking to carry with you on through your subsequent endeavors.
Leadership is a choice. How early or late will you choose to begin refining yours?
Which general leadership lessons have you retained, refined, and collected as you’ve gone?
So…What About You?
- What lessons would you say are the lessons you learned early on that you’ve kept with you? Which are the ones you should have kept with you?
- Knowing what you know now, what are you aware of now that you wish you had been aware of much earlier about your leadership ability?
- How do you open other people’s eyes to their own leadership abilities, no matter where they are in their life and/or career?