When I was in the dreaming stages of this website, I was a little reluctant to use the word “leadership” in the title. Many of my readers and the readers I want to attract (and especially many women, I might add), would deny that they have any leadership qualities or that what they do on a daily basis has anything to do with leadership.
In the end, after much deliberation, it was exactly because of that gap that I decided to use the word. Part of my purpose in writing this blog is to let you know that, even if you never leave your home, never work as anyone’s boss, only work alone in a basement studio, or feel like the only thing you do all day is wipe snotty noses, you can be a leader. ALL of us can be leaders – at the boardroom table or kitchen table or art table or card table or… in the woods where there’s no table at all.
A leader is anyone who dares to step forward with even a small amount of courage to challenge the status quo, stand up for another person, change what needs to be changed, encourage those who need to be encouraged, make space for those who are hurting, invest in another person, seek excellence in your art, or simply make the world a better place for at least one person.
You are a leader if you are:
– a mother who teaches her children to be true to themselves
– a teacher who creates a safe place for students to learn
– a writer who puts her best work forward, despite the risk of failure
– a dancer who believes dance can change the world for those who dance and those who watch
– a soldier who sacrifices personal comfort to protect people in conflict
– a lawyer who strives for justice
– a child who dares to befriend the classmate who is different
– an entrepreneur who believes he has giftedness worth sharing
– a teenager who follows her own path despite peer pressure to conform to others’ expectations
– a development worker who leaves his comfortable home to live with marginalized people in a remote area
– a student who ignores the easy route and follows her interests into a course of study
– an explorer who forges new paths into unknown territory
– a man, woman, or child who dares to be authentic
– an artist who creates art that emerges from her heart rather than simply to suit the market
– a visionary who dares to stand alone
– an environmentalist committed to saving just one tree
– a poet who trusts words to shape the future
Don’t wait for someone to tell you that you are a leader. Take up the mantle, place it gently on your shoulders (it’s not as heavy as you think) and go forward, changing the world one small commitment (or even just one snotty nose) at a time.
Do it now. For all of us.