The Leader’s Gift

the leaders giftAt some point in our lives, we all have the opportunity to lead. Whether it is within our family, or a group of people, or simply our own lives, we all have the chance to step up into these shoes. With this honor comes a responsibility to all those we lead.

The opportunity for leaders is to make sure they are setting the example for those who follow. As I’ve mentioned before, a reputation is one of the few things we have control over. As a leader, it is doubly important to think about this before speaking or acting. How we lead is showing all those who follow who we are. It is a reflection of our character and our ability to lead the way.

A leader is watched at all times and interpretations of what is said or done are made constantly whether they are accurate or not. Every word counts, every move counts, every action counts.

Leaders have a unique opportunity to teach through leadership. Therefore, should you be lucky enough to be in the leadership position, take care with the lessons you are about to share and be sure that you are teaching from a conscious and self-aware place, not unintentionally.

Most can recall a mentor, a teacher or special person that made an impression on them. We learned some of our values from them and incorporated them into who we are. A leader demonstrates what it is to lead a group of people towards something, away from something or stewards an organization as the steady hand. Each of these teaches us something about the leader and leadership.

Some leaders “assume” the role more as their right and do not guard or cherish the impact they might be having. Thoughtless words, actions, tweets, and decisions can not only have a disastrous impact on the whole but denigrate the gift of leadership.

Think about those you lead, what gift of leadership are you giving them? What role model for the future? What legacy are you leaving behind? Leadership is not just about making decisions, directing people or managing strategies, vision and goals. It’s about the lasting impression of leadership we leave on all those we have the privilege of leading. Make sure your impression is one you will be proud of not just in the moment but for years to come. Make sure yours is going to be the “best of” series not the “worst of” series. Remember, it’s always your choice.