What does good leadership look like? An age-old discussion.
I often get a little frustrated participating in these types of discussions about leadership. We seem to talk about world-changing examples of ‘what good looks like’. In doing this, there’s a real danger that we make leadership into a subject that’s about accomplishing something monumental. Something that will go down in the history books and TED talks as a tipping point for all humanity. Perhaps something that we have aspirations for and that, one day, we will eventually deserve. *sigh*
As long we continue to do this, we lose sight of everyday, garden-variety leadership. And this presents some big issues:
1) We don’t expect to see it.
2) We miss seeing it when it is there.
3) We don’t encourage more of it.
4) We don't take credit for it.
5) We don't let ourselves feel good about it.
Everyday leadership moments
I feel it’s incredibly important to celebrate and acknowledge everyday acts of leadership- small moments that can have profound positive impact on people:
A moment of extreme honesty
Asking an incisive question
Learning from past mistakes
Listening carefully to understand someone else's point of view
Saying something that gives another person confidence
Stepping up to take charge of a meeting
Sitting in silence to let others take charge of a conversation
Why don't we celebrate these moments? Why don't we tell people when someone does this for us? How many of these moments do we experience and choose to pay forward?
My challenge to you this week: try and find at least 10 everyday leadership moments (ELMs) and make a point of celebrating them in whatever way suits you. If the mood takes you - post a comment below with some of your favourites ELMs.