There are some people that I’ve met that have shared their hesitancy to lead. Not because they’re incapable, but simply because it’s not their first instinct. Most choose not to lead because they don’t want to risk the chance of failing. They find it easier and more comfortable to blend in with the group.
What if Leadership isn’t in Your Title?
Leadership is not always the person you call boss or coach. Leading isn’t a fancy title that gets printed on a card or added to your LinkedIn. There are plenty of people with those titles who fail to lead every day.
Leadership first starts with you and the daily decisions you make to take action. Choosing to show up and lead yourself is an inspiring characteristic all in itself.
While I’m stating the obvious here, it’s your attitude that goes a long way in bringing positive results. Have you ever noticed a negative person turning around a company or division? How many negative people do you see writing leadership books? While a positive attitude isn’t going to make you a leader, it’s simply the starting point to every day.
When I give my kids a task, I always tell them, “whatever you do, do it well.” While my kids have learned to hide their dislike for the chores I give them, the quality of their effort speaks loud enough. I can always tell when they don’t want to do something, simply by the quality of their work. Attitude shapes results.
Bring All of You
A while ago, my friend Brian Chisholm was studying at the University of Michigan. At the time, he was taking a Japanese class and did two things that stood out. Brian and I have been friends for a while and I always found value in his ability to find humor in all things. During class the teacher asked all the students to write out sentences in Japanese. What could have been a boring task, Brian found a way to bring himself and his personality to the table. Brian’s ability to show emotion by simply drawing stick figures was always really good. Rather than writing out sentences like everyone else, he brought his humor and artistic talent and put together a comic that included his sentences in Japanese.
In another Instance, Brian showed up to class and the teacher went around to each student asking them to say something in Japanese. One of the students, who Brian enjoyed friendly mom-joke banter with, failed to do his work and couldn’t deliver. When it was Brian’s turn, he chose to tell a mom joke referencing the student who failed to prepare. The class erupted in laughter and the student was none the wiser.
These two stories have always stuck with me because they are perfect representations of bringing yourself to the table. While skills can be learned, there is only one you. By being you, and doing your job well, you will find success.
Time is something that flies by and yet most people don’t have the patience for. What we do every single day, matters. While the decisions and actions we take are not always groundbreaking or revolutionary, over time they will add up to the bigger picture. The same thing goes for the decisions and actions we choose not to take. For every step you choose not to take, the longer you will remain in that position.
I believe in actions before words. If you’re actions are steady and consistent your words will have more power. Walk blamelessly forward putting everything you have into what you want to become. In due time, your leadership will take place and you find confidence in the position.