(image from http://www.oberlin.edu/bcsl/about/LEADS.jpg)
The simplest definition of leadership I have ever read was “influence”. Nothing complex or hard to understand but also fairly heavy from a philosophical standpoint. If we accept that leadership is the ability to influence, the implication is that every single person leads everyday. The challenge now becomes are leading in a positive or negative manner.
Each day we have a choice. We can use our influence to create a more positive atmosphere or we can use it to channel our inner Dilbert and reinforce to people that resistance is futile and that we should just acquiesce to the world and let it roll over us.
Think of all the people you will influence today. Your family, friends, coworkers, clients, or any number of people you may come in contact with during the course of your day. Are you leading these people to have a better day? Are you thinking about what you say from a leadership perspective? Are you taking the time to think about why they ask you certain questions before you respond?
Our days can become so hurried that we fail to recognize the “leadership moments”. These happen several times a day when someone crosses our path who really needs to hear what we have to say but we may be so focused on our own work that we fail to notice. This is where your influence can have impact that is inversely proportional to your effort.
There is someone in your world today who needs your time and influence. They need to know someone is there who cares and will take the time to listen.
Don’t miss your “leadership moment” because we all need you to step up and lead.