When you think of the word leadership, what comes to mind? It isn’t surprising that the majority of people associate specific meanings to leadership that include authority, position, seniority, being at the helm of an enterprise, or having ultimate responsibility for bottom line results. However, in order to achieve success as a leader, one needs to have the capacity to take charge of oneself first. To be a quintessential leader requires a specific mindset, along with certain professional traits and attributes that inspire individuals to perform at his or her best. Sadly, many leaders fail to understand the need to practice personal leadership in all interactions.
Therefore, the essence of leadership is about strength of character, regardless of one’s position in an organization, association, political party etc. In addition, we may falsely assume that a person’s “title” denotes credibility. As many of us have experienced, credibility must be earned rather than given. And this has nothing to do with a plaque on a door or a desk, or a title on a business card. It’s about who you are at the core that truly matters, rather than what your title indicates.
So no matter what your role is in an organization, no matter what industry you work in, it’s not about your job or “pecking order” in your organization. What is most important is to understand that leadership is a choice. It is a reflection of how you see yourself. Are you an initiator? A change agent? A provocateur? Do you have the capacity to inspire yourself and take responsibility for your actions? Leadership really does start with you.
Whether you are on the front line, or a senior leader, or perhaps running the company…running your business, you are ultimately accountable for your own behaviours, choices and how you decide to interpret your circumstances.
In the workplace, we are all one hundred percent responsible for creating the atmosphere. We all make a contribution everyday that leads to a particular culture. It’s about you being conscious of who you are and it’s about your character that truly matters above all else.
What are you doing on a daily basis to take the lead in your professional and personal relationships? Ultimately, relationships with your colleagues and on a grander scale, with all everyone that you interact with? You have an opportunity on a daily basis to be the best version of you, to mentor others, contribute to your workplace and lead by example. In short: We can all choose to become the leaders of our own lives.
Michelle Ray (Twitter) is one of the best international leadership keynote speakers in Vancouver. She helps you discover your potential through presentations, coaching and consulting. With over 20 years of experience Michelle has worked with hundreds of companies around the world. She is taking bookings for speaking engagements and can be contacted at MichelleRay.com