Are you a leader?

Recently, I have been conducting an increasing amount of leadership programs. And one of the things that I’ve noticed is that my programs for leaders are not entirely different than my other professional development programs.

The reason is because we are all leaders regardless of the title or the position that we hold.

Leadership is more than a title or a specified role.

John Maxwell says leadership is influence, nothing more nothing less. And each one of us is in a position of influence. Whether I have staff report to me or children who look up to me or coworkers who sit next to me and watch how I work, ultimately anyone in my path will potentially be influenced by my words, by my actions, by my behaviors.

It’s important for each of us to remember that we are all leaders in our own right. Those around us will do what we do whether we realize it or not. 

We know that children will do what we do before they will do what we say. And the case is not much different with adults.

If I throw garbage out of my car window, I’m sending a signal to the car behind me that this behavior is OK. He will follow suit. When I see a close friend exercise every day and never miss a workout, I am influenced and inspired to uphold that same kind of behavior.

What we do, what we say, what we think, is contagious.

When we hold ourselves to a high standard, those around us are influenced to do the same. If you have people in your life that you wish were more loving, more friendly, more giving, ask yourself if that’s the behavior you are modeling. 

If you want someone to be more accepting and understanding, the answer is for you to be more accepting and understanding.

When I had my not-for-profit youth hip-hop dance group many years ago, I regularly told the kids, always assume that someone is watching you. Someone is listening to every word you say, and watching everything you do. So conduct yourselves in the same way that you would want to see someone else behave.

That is the mindset of a leader.

What is one new habit you will instill or change today to display the lifestyle of a leader?

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