What makes a great leader? My son worked for Ames Construction this summer and had the opportunity to spend time with the owner. In conversation the owner said, “Every morning I have coffee with the janitor.” When I heard that I thought, “Wow, that’s an example of great leadership.” He shared with my son that it’s a hard role to replace and to never take any position or person for granted. I think we can all learn a lesson from that advice.
People use a variety of words to describe what leadership looks like such as mentor-ship, guidance, support, management, accountability, being helpful and a positive role model, and list goes on. To me, true leadership starts with a servant heart. For those who don’t know what that means, it’s about being willing to give as much support as you ask for, being willing to get down and dirty in the messy parts of our jobs, and going the extra mile on behalf of our teams. It means leading with more questions and less accusations, having our team’s backs in front of others, and sharing concerns in private. It means leading with strength, even on the days we feel weak, and carefully choosing our words and actions so we protect those around us.
Do you know you’re a leader? Whether you realize it or not, people at work and home are watching you, looking to you to lead. Though you may not always feel like it, you’re a leader every day. Today, I encourage you to reflect on what leadership looks like to you then ask yourself “Do I embody these characteristics? If not, how can I lean into them to become a stronger leader?” Each new day is an opportunity to lead others and serve them well.
What does living your exceptional life look like to you?
Are you using your leadership to encourage people to live their best lives?
Do you feel inspired by the power to lead? How will you use that inspiration this week?
Are you afraid of what your leadership will lead to?