The Ultimate Question At The Heart Of All Of Coach It Out’s Work: What Is Leadership?
Leadership is so many things. There are so many facets to it, examples of it, and sources for it.
To be clear: Leadership is not solely limited to someone in a position of power.
Leaders traditionally might have been seen as those that take, dole out, and build their power. But leadership is the opposite. It is not about taking, it’s about giving. That old-school way of thinking will not do in a world such as ours, which is changing at such a dramatic pace and in which the need for leaders is rising.
With the state of the world being what it is, overcome by wars, terrorism, division, fear, and doubt, the leadership responsibility now exists in all of us more than ever. This isn’t said for dramatic effect; all those issues that grip the world are plagues in that they are contagious and infectious, and can therefore spread their negative consequences just as fast from one person to the next. And they need to be offset by the growth and dissemination of value and growth.
That’s where every day and individual leadership comes in.
Simply put: Leaders are those who provide value where needed.
That’s what it comes down to. It’s as simple as that.
It can be that simply put because there are so many interpretations as to what that value provision can be. Yes, it can be a manager or CEO in a company who is leading the company to greatness as they provide guidance and support to their staff to help them thrive in their company environment and industry.
And the same could be said of a religious leader or a non-profit organization’s leader. So it isn’t solely about the shareholder value the CEO must provide, but the value in faith of which the religious leader preaches and reassures his or her congregation as well as the value in resources that a non-profit leader can provide to the cause for which they work.
It can be a teacher, police officer, or fire-person providing protection to their community as protection is invaluable to the constituents of a town or municipality.
Leadership can be demonstrated by a front-line blue-collar worker or in support staff such as administrative assistants who make sure that the entity for which they work is able to deliver their end result–the service or product to the end-user and customer.
A leader can be a tutor, coach, or any other type of volunteer, as they are providing value through support to others to improve themselves and their situations and circumstances.
It can be friendships which provide reassurance, family members who provide confidence, or grammar school students who defend others against bullies through their integrity.
A leader can be a stranger who assists another, whom they don’t know. That is providing value. That is improving the environment of those around you.
A leader is someone who provides value where it is needed. Again, simply put. It is not more; it is not less.
Some leaders are more apparent and visible than others because they understand that calling and make it their mission to proactively work to provide value to a greater level of recipients and environments while others might not know that leadership can exist without a title, but they still exude valuable behaviors.
At its very core, leadership is setting the example for others. It is daily actions, either subtle or obvious, which lead others to tap into their greater value. So it has to do with one’s own growth in order to impact the worth of one’s surroundings and tap into its own growth, possibilities, and abilities–one person or group at a time.
Leadership is all-encompassing resourcefulness. It is how to use everything around you to improve yourself and your environment. It is how you make the most of everything you touch.
Leadership is not only direct interaction when you serve as someone that another person follows whether in an official or unofficial capacity; leadership is being the best version of you because others are always watching and influenced by their surroundings, which includes YOU.
Coach It Out, LLC (CiO) understands that because leadership is not limited to the upper echelons of titled and formal leaders, that leaders are everywhere across every demographic, including age, and because leadership has to do with self-awareness about one’s surroundings, including understanding and supporting others, there is no limit to what a leadership lesson can be.
This is why all the posts, blogs, materials, and information CiO shares aren’t just about formal leadership and why the services span from the educational institutions to train our students to the managers and leaders of organizations to lead a workforce.
Leadership starts early. It then continues to grow, mature, and refine as we age. The sooner we learn to build our leadership sensory and awareness, the better.
It’s about taking resources provided by our environments, building upon them and putting them back into our environments to make them better.
Out of that process comes the widely held notion that those who witness your leadership are not only the better for having you present but better for keeping your lessons and influence in heart when you are not around.
What is the old adage? “Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime.” It’s the same thing with leadership, development, encouragement, and coaching; You’re not giving a man (or woman or child) that fish, but teaching them to fish. They’re not being told what to do, but being walked through the process of how to develop themselves so they can continue that process through their environment, career, and life.
Everyone has their own style of, and desire for, leadership. Not everyone necessarily wants to lead in the fashion which has been discussed here and that’s fine. Everyone should do only what they’re truly comfortable with, after some self-reflection.
What IS key is doing the self-reflection and making sure you’re doing what you want to do, that which you’re capable of and which you desire. Reconcile your true desires to your actions and make sure they match.
Never underestimate how much influence you can have over the world around you. It’s there for the taking but you have to proactively pursue it.
There are so many ways to learn about and reflect on your development toward greatness. CiO is one of them.
We’re all on that same path.
So…What About You?
- What is your definition of leadership?
- What steps do you take to refine your leadership?
- How do you empower others to find and demonstrate theirs?