My first thought yesterday was “June? Already?!” It’s funny because at times it feels like this year has flown by. Other times, it feels like it has gone so very slow.
The last few weeks have been hard. In my struggle, however, I have found a resolve and resoluteness that I didn’t know I had.
When we’re young, we’re taught that the person who raises their hand first or makes it to the front of the line is the leader. As we grow older, leadership extends to how well we can manage our sphere of influence. How many people can we get to vote for us?
We are never taught the value of quiet leadership.
The power of introverted leadership. (Susan Cain wrote a book about this. It’s still on my shelf. Summer reading?)
What I’ve learned is that leadership doesn’t have to be any of those things. You have the power to dictate change without being the first to raise your hand. Sometimes you don’t even have to speak up. You can dictate change through your actions. Through your expectations.
Leadership doesn’t have to be at the front of the line. While it’s nice to be recognized for your efforts, most leadership comes from the middle. I do a PD session on this, actually. How you need to be comfortable leading from the middle – because that’s where most people are – somewhere in the middle. Only one person can be at the front. How do you influence those around you?
Have you ever stopped to watch a line of elementary school children go by? When the leader’s back is turned, it’s up to the ones in the middle that set the expectation.
It can go one of two ways.
It can always go one of two ways.
And then that sphere of influence… how are you going to use it? Are you going to be a dictator? Do you say “Do as I say but not as I do?” Will you lead by example?
Are you going to leave the impression that you will walk through fire for those you seek to influence?
I’ll walk through fire for you because I believe in what we’re doing here. You won’t see me demand that you find people with the hose. I’ll simply grab the hose and get to work.
Because our neighbor’s house is on fire.