This is how I define leadership…
Leadership: Consciously designing the impact we have on others.
Leader: Someone who chooses to design the impact they have on others.
I see everyone as a potential leader, regardless of their role (in work or in life).
What is the impact you want to have?
If you can answer this question you are well on your way to becoming a better leader.
Self-awareness is an essential ingredient in change, and only once you are aware of what you want can you begin to identify HOW to get there.
I recently shared this definition of leadership with someone who has studied management, leadership and has been in a leadership role in a large organization for 15 years. She looked at me in shock, grabbed her pen and scrambled to write my words in her notebook.
“I’ve never heard it said so succinctly. This is exactly right! Thank you. Now I have a way of understanding how to align my actions with my values. And how all of this rolls up into my impact in the world.”
She then promptly asked me what impact I want to have.
I want people to feel more like themselves after they have had time with me. I want my interactions with others to lead to them (1)being more authentic (2)feeling empowered to take inspired action.
How I go about this takes on infinite shapes and sizes, depending on whom I am interacting with. Depending on the specifics of each situation I choose how to act and what to say to ensure I am being genuine while doing my best to create my intended impact. Sometimes when someone asks “how are you” in passing, I may say “ready for a nap!” or “happy” or “kinda grumpy”…I’m learning that even when I am not at my best I can be an effective leader.
Let me ask you again: What impact do you hope to have on others?
While you may not realize it, you DO leave an imprint on everyone you come in contact with. Those you live and work closely with feel it most profoundly. People walking past you in a hallway, on the sidewalk or grocery store, they feel it too.
As you go through your day, I wonder how you can be even more aware of how your choices are aligned with your desired impact. THIS is a practice that can transform your life. Your effectiveness as a leader will inevitably grow as you close the gaps between your intention and your impact.