Think You're Not a Leader? Think Again! Here Are the Top 3 Behaviors of Leaders Who Are Just Lik
On Monday February 2nd, as I was scanning my daily news source, Google News, I noticed this article from ESPN:
“Despite coming off a historic season and being named the youngest unanimous MVP in the history of major league baseball, Bryce Harper still doesn't see himself as one of the leaders of the Washington Nationals. "I don't think I'm a leader," said Harper, who addressed media in the Space Coast Stadium dugout on Monday morning. "I think I'm more just a guy playing the game.””
Unfortunately, this “I’m not a leader” sentiment is prevalent among many people, especially women, in our world today. Every time I hear an individual utter these words, I feel frustrated and disappointed. And depending on the person, my response is “Of course you are a leader, if nothing else you are the leader of your own life aren’t you?” This question usually brings nervous chuckles and a response of “Well yes but…” with a list of reasons of why they don’t consider that being true leadership. My favorite ones are “I don’t manage people”, “I don’t run a country”, “I don’t work”, “I am just a lower level employee” or “I am too young or too old” and the list goes on and on. Well to all of these, I say to heck with your B.S., that is your Belief System, that tricks you into thinking you are anything less than a leader. However, I can’t really blame you for thinking these thoughts because when you Google top leaders in history you get names like Steve Jobs, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa and Ghandi. Seeing how the world sees leaders, it’s no wonder you don’t consider yourself a leader. Society and culture has us programmed to believe that you have to run a company or country, drive a social change or provide selfless acts to the world to be considered a leader. However, upon researching the leadership qualities of each of these individuals, I discovered three common behaviors which each of us could embrace and demonstrate in our personal and professional lives.
1. Be a pioneer of change This is probably one of the biggest reasons most people are not leaders because change is something most of us intensely dislike. We like to stay in our comfort zone and not “rock the boat” or “muddy the waters.” Leaders love change and consistently look for ways to make things better or envision doing things differently. Steve Jobs is best known as an innovator. He envisioned that one day our phones could be a source of entertainment and not simply a device for communicating-and that certainly pioneered change for everyone in this world. Martin Luther King’s passion to make the United States a place of equal opportunity pioneered change in social and business practices. Mother Teresa wanted to change how the underprivileged were cared for and she desired to make everyone, regardless of circumstance, feel cared for feel loved. You don’t have to lead some huge movement or create the newest tech product to be a pioneer of change. What about recommending a change to a process at work that has been around for ages and has no apparent value to the company? Or what about suggesting to your family that you change to eating breakfast and dinner together with no phones or television so that you can truly engage with one another? Change does not have to be huge, it simply needs to create a new and better way of being for all interested parties. Leaders consistently look for ways to pioneer change personally and professionally.