It can be easy to get lost in the theory of leadership and turn it into a concept or even a lofty ideal that seems too high for some to reach. The theory and context of leadership is of course immensely valuable, yet if you want to cultivate leadership in others you must continually build the bridge from theory to action.
One of the best ways to do that is to recognize and celebrate leadership in action. The notion of “Random Acts of Leadership” is about making leadership simple and accessible by helping people to see the moment to moment opportunities to lead so they can seize them.
One of the best bridges between the theory of leadership and the day-to-day actions of a leader are what I refer to as the 3 Fundamental Acts of Leadership: speaking up, stepping up and standing up.
Here are examples of how you can use these 3 Fundamental Acts of Leadership to recognize and celebrate leadership.
Recognize someone for speaking up: for being the one to say the thing that needed to be said, especially when it took courage to do so. Then celebrate the impact their willingness to speak up had on others and/or the outcome to shine a spotlight on their leadership.
Recognize someone for stepping up: for raising their hand to not only taking on a difficult task, but for following through whether they succeeded or failed. Then celebrate the difference they made in doing so, as well as what was learned.
Recognize someone for standing up: for taking a stand for a person, a possibility, or even a value that transcends the status quo and continuing to nurture what they stand for in word and deed over time. Then celebrate the steps taken and the progress made, including the setbacks that provided the most valuable lessons.
So start catching people in the act – the act of speaking up, stepping up and standing up to make a difference!
Recognize and celebrate the leaders all around you. You might just be surprised at how many leaders there are.