The word ‘leadership’ is bandied around so much, I believe that everyone’s definition of the word would be entirely different, based on their experience with someone to whom they consider a leader. I know that when I thought about leadership, I would think about government and historic leaders of the best (Mandella) and worst (Hilter) kind and so the idea that I somehow fit into the sphere with people of this calibre certainly made me somewhat uncomfortable. Not because leadership makes me uncomfortable, quite the opposite. I have always had strong leadership skills; I believe that as humans we are struck down by the fear that ‘real/true leadership’ changes the world. That is enough to make anyone feel inadequate.
One of the profound realisations that I had through my time in the program was how little we, as leaders, give ourselves credit for, yet how good we are at remembering all the things that we have done wrong/how we don’t measure up and beating ourselves up over it. What we really need to remember are the Lollipop Moments (see the videos below) and that each time we lift someone up, we change their world, which may not be the whole world, but it is still pretty incredible.
I encourage you to thank the leaders/people in your life who believe in you/lifted you up/changed your world before you miss the opportunity. A short blog post cannot begin to scratch the surface of my experiences being a part of this Rising Leadership cohort that regularly challenged my thinking, pushed me outside my comfort zone, opened my eyes, forced me to reflect, reflect, reflect and made me feel valued; but if there was one more thing that I could share with you based on my experience it would be that, in my opinion, values based leadership are really the only kind of true leadership. At its core, leadership is about building up those around you. It is, in fact, not really about you at all. So dig deep and identify honestly what your values are (do a print workshop if ever you are given the opportunity!), as it will make your leadership journey at work and at home so much more rewarding and fulfilling.
The theme of each experience was set in line with the chapters of “The Truth about Leadership” by Kouzes & Posner – worth a read if you are looking for further reading on leadership. For more information on the Leadership WA, Rising Leadership Course visit: www.leadershipwa.org.au
Check out some of the inspiring and thought provoking videos that we watched as part of the program.
Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability
Derek Silvers: How to start a movement
Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action
The Imperfect Leader: The World’s toughest job
A few people that overcame Adversity to make their dreams come true
Drew Dudley: Leading with Lollipops
- Chelsea F