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Recognizing Leadership in Action

| | Personal Leadership
Recognizing Leadership in Action

Think of someone whose leadership stands out for you.

If no one comes to mind, take a moment and consider those around you right now.  Is there someone you can identify whose leadership is noteworthy?

Now that you have a specific person in mind, ask yourself: what is it that they have done or provided that has you name them as a leader?

It can be far easier to name those things for someone like Martin Luther King, Jr, Mahatma Gandhi, or whomever your favorite historical leader might be.  After all you can see the culmination of their life’s work and the legacy of their leadership in volumes of written works and even in the movies.

It can also be easier to name those things for a high level positional leader in your place of business or community.  Perhaps that’s because the actions of those people tend to be more visible and the impact more readily seen and experienced over time.  Said another way, consider that their leadership stands out because we are expecting them to lead.

Yet what about the people you encounter every day: Do you recognize acts of leadership by those around you?

I am referring to those who may not have positional power or authority, but who play a key role in your work or life.  They may even work for you or provide a service to you.

Did any of those people come to mind when you considered whose leadership stands out for you?

If so, I would love to hear about who you identified and why you identified them because you are the exception.  Most people, when asked to identify a leader tend to look “up” or into the past.

Now I want to ask a different set of questions: In the last month or year…

  1. Who have you seen speak up to make a difference for others?
  2. Who has stepped up to take ownership of something and in doing so moved something that mattered forward?
  3. Who has taken a stand that has challenged the status quo for the sake of a better future?

Consider that the people you identify in response to these questions are already leaders or are on their way to becoming a leader.  They might not even see themselves as leaders.  Often those who speak up, step up or stand up are not trying to be leaders.  They simply choose to act on behalf of others or a future because it is simply what they feel compelled to do.

Now who else stands out to you for their leadership?

The great thing about recognizing leadership in action is that it can help you and others to learn recognize more opportunities to be a leader.

Great leaders become great by taking one act of leadership at a time over time.

What acts of leadership can you recognize in those around you, including yourself?

 

Copyright: rottenman / 123RF Stock Photo

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Brytany   |   30 June 2015   |   Reply

Writing is a big part of my job; which I love. I do a lot of persuasive wiirtng; so every time we “win” based on my wiirtng; I feel pretty awesome! (But that stuff would be pretty boring for anyone outside of my professional arena…)One of the pieces of wiirtng I’m most proud of is that I wrote/created an informational pamphlet that was targeted towards young, first time mothers who might not be aware of their parenting rights/resources because of where they are in life. The pamphlet advised these women of their legal parental rights (as well as those of their baby’s father as there are a lot of misconceptions about parental rights), and it also contained information and contact info for social welfare programs like TANF, WIC, heating assistance, legal assistance, parenting classes, daycare support, state funded health insurance programs, Section 8 (housing assistance), etc. It ended up being used by several hospitals in our area as part of the kit given to new mothers; and also was available at legal aid offices and a few doctors’ offices.I do a lot of creative wiirtng as well; and some pieces I’ve written to deal with things I’ve gone through in my past were very powerful to me personally.

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