If you are waiting for the opportunity to become a leader, you don’t have to wait any longer. The truth is that you are once you realize it.
A famous quote from John Quincy Adams has been making its rounds recently, and it goes like this:
“If your actions inspire others to dream more,
learn more, do more, and become more,
you are a leader.”
You are a leader.
As a leader, you have a great deal of responsibility. Your actions are inspiring others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more.
Have you felt the weight of what has been bestowed upon you?
Take a moment to think about that question and answer it in your head. Even better, go ahead and write it down.
If this is all of a sudden new to you, then ask yourself one more question.
What is leadership?
You sometimes hear it in the context of a group of leaders in charge of an organization. For example, you might hear “…. I will have to run that by leadership”
This would imply that leadership is a noun. Something that physically exists. Something you can see or touch.
This is not the way I want you to view it. I do not want you to get caught with that mindset. Leadership is relational, and it should be taken seriously because livelihoods are at stake. You actions, those actions you take to inspire others, have the ability to make a great impact on those who are following you. Your followers are watching you like a child watches a parent. Because you have inspired, because you have led, your followers look up to you and will mimic the things you do and the things you say.
Leadership is not a noun. It is not a person, a place, or a thing. It is an adjective. It is action and interaction. It is influence and inspiration.
It doesn’t matter what your title is, or if you even have a title at all. The truth is, you are a leader now because you have realized the impact you have. Don’t take this responsibility lightly because you have great potential to affect the lives of those around you and those who are following you.
Leadership is universal. It doesn’t just exist in the workplace. I understand how this can be a common misconception. This is also why you don’t need a title or a position to be a great leader. At its core, leadership is relationships and communication. Those are not titles you can put on someone.
It is also not a looming project deadline or a task list. You see, without relationships, communication, and interaction, you have no leadership. It is the act of interacting with and for the greater good of others. As a leader you have to realize the impact you have on those around you.
Here are three things you must do today to realize your impact as a leader
1. Realize the weight of your responsibility
Until you accept the fact that you are responsible for influencing and inspiring others as a leader, your actions will never be fully realized. Once you are able to see the weight of the responsibility you hold, then you will be able to have a greater impact
2. Pay attention to who is following you
You may not have noticed, but people are following you. Like a child watches a parent, a follower watches a leader. Be aware of those around you who are mimicing your actions, and realize the reach of your influence.
3. Take charge of your actions
It is time to step up. The things you do today and the message you send is affecting someone in some way. You may not know it right away, so let it be a positive experience for you and for them.
Have you realized the impact of your actions and the responsibility you hold as a leader?