Leadership – It’s An Every Day Thing!
By Laura Macro
An internet search reveals there are about 49,000 books about leadership. Clearly, everyone has an idea on the topic. As we expand the learning focus beyond career development to professional development and organizational learning, I want to share my thoughts and add to this conversation.
Everyone has the potential for leadership. Everyone has untapped abilities and every day provides opportunities for expanding beliefs, new behaviour and new growth in personal leadership. I know that some of you haven’t embraced that notion as you currently may not hold the role of a leader in your organization . . .
In his book, Managing the Dream, distinguished leadership authority Warren Bennis tells us where to find the roots of leadership:
“No leader sets out to be a leader. People set out to live their lives, expressing themselves fully. When that expression is of value, they become leaders. So the point is not to become a leader. The point is to become yourself, to use yourself completely – all your skills, gifts, and energies – in order to make your vision manifest. You must withhold nothing. You must, in sum, become the person you started out to be, and to enjoy the process of becoming.”
- What is your vision for leadership of your life and your work?
- Are you using all your skills, talents and energy?
- How are you becoming the person you started out to be?
- Are you enjoying the process of ‘your becoming’?
Over the years I have been a corporate leader, an educational leader, and a leader in professional associations and within a faith community. I have led countless committees and projects, discussions and workshops, chaired Boards of Directors, and led significant celebratory family events. I continue to lead others through my own business. This range of venues has provided opportunities for using my skills, gifts and energies in service of a greater cause.
Who among you hasn’t been a leader when orchestrating a funeral, a celebration, a bar mitzvah, or a baptism? Who isn’t a leader when ‘Running for the Cure’, coaching soccer or hockey, organizing a fundraiser, running a marathon, or leading a guide company or scout troop?
In an August 2005 article in Harvard Business Review, Robert Quinn writes that ‘leaders are at the top of their game when they act from their deepest values and instincts. They tap into a fundamental state of leadership that is results centered, internally directed, other focused, and externally open. Opportunities for fundamental leadership are everywhere, every day.
- What is your intention as you approach a challenging or new situation?
- How do your values show up as you make decisions that impact you and others?
- What is your impact on the people around you as you lead them through challenge and change?
Leadership doesn’t just happen at the office. It is an everyday thing. Before you act, be intentional and decide how you want to show up with all your natural leadership talents, skills and abilities.
You are a leader everyday. Be conscious of your values, your strengths, and how you can have a positive impact on any given opportunity. And then lead from there. The world needs your contribution!
Laura Macro M.Ed. PCC is a leadership coach who supports mid-career women leaders, professionals and business owners who are re-energizing their work, their leadership and their teams, as they contribute significantly, experience more meaning and intentionally develop their legacy.
Laura is a certified coach through The International Coach Federation and The Coaches Training Institute, is trained in Organizational Relationship Systems Coaching for partners, teams and families, holds an M.Ed. from U of T, and has 25+ years experience as a professional coach, senior HR professional, career development consultant and not for profit leader.