Updated: Jun 14
Here is the definition of leader. "The person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country."
Given this definition you may not perceive yourself to be a leader. You may think to yourself who am I to call my self a leader? It may even feel large or burdensome to think as yourself as a leader. I am here to challenge that thought. Perhaps you could think of yourself as a leader among leaders and leadership as a way you carry yourself in the world. I propose we expand the definition of leader to Anyone who influences another. Weather we acknowledge it or not, we are all leaders- Leading ourselves, our children, friends, coworkers. All having different degrees of influence. We are all examples to everyone we meet.
Are we consciously choosing how we lead?
In 2005, I volunteered on an audio/visual team for a relationship weekend. We had a team of 12, 6 men, and 6 women. There was a female manager and a male manager. My commitment was 6 relationship weekends and 6 trunk packing weekends which happened 2 weeks before the actual relationship weekend.
On the first weekend I observed closely, the behavior of the people on my team, as I often do. Observing how they do things, what works and what doesn’t work. On this weekend I paid particular attention to the managers.
I noticed one of the manager's handling things in an ineffective way. I also noticed that his management style was similar to my dads.
I had a big aha moment! I recognized I was leading my children, my family just like this manager, just like my father.
Which up until this point, was unconscious. I was just doing what I knew and was raised with, without giving it a thought.
After that weekend I went home and took a look at how I was leading and what kind of example I was being. Over the next few weeks I did some soul searching as to how I want to led. How I want my children to feel with me as their leader. And what was most important to me.
Here are 3 tools I used to help me do this.
1. I created a vision of what I wanted my life to look like who I wanted to be in that vision and the legacy I want to leave. I even wrote my obituary to help me see what was important to me. Connecting with your soul, higher self or spirit can be extremely helpful in coming from a place that is authentically you.
2. Next I wrote down a list of values that were important to me like Respect and Integrity……Then I took that list one step further and used a mind map. For each value, I branched it out into an area of life and then wrote what that value would look like when in action. In other words, what action would I do to show that value.
3. The 3rd tool I used is called a CPR. Context, Purpose, Results.
Context: What you are going to hold to get you to and through the event, showing up in the way you desire. Like a moto or way of being.
Purpose: Why you are doing this ( big picture).
Results: What you want to achieve by doing this. ( for others as well as your self)
I would use this for family events, Retreats, workshops, meetings, Community events, or major conversations I needed to have with my husband.
If you think of these 3 steps like a vacation you want to take –
The Vision is like the destination
The Values and Mind Map are like the road map or GPS system to get you to the destination.
The CPR is what you are going to pack.
On the 3rd weekend of that commitment, I was called to manage- I used all I had learned about myself and who I wanted to be and how I wanted my team to feel. I made sure they had what they needed, gave them space and encouragement to use their skills. assigned tasks that were just outside of their comfort zone. Dished out plenty of praise and appreciation. Worked along side and exemplified the values I thought were important. The weekend was a success! Our team had delivered like never before!
Everyone has a circle of people who they influence, which by my expansion of the definition of leader, You are one! You are influencing others even weather its unconscious or consciously.
Are you leading consciously?
I would encourage you to use these 3 steps to consciously choose how you want to lead! If you are interested in learning how I can help you with direction and support learn more here.