Leadership is an intimate relationship.
Leadership is not about telling people what to do. Leaders do not live on a separate plane from the people they lead, sending them directions and motivation from a safe distance. Leaders do not manipulate people into doing what they want them to do. Leadership is not about image, or mindset, or theory, or check lists.
Leaders are intimately connected to the people with whom they work. Leadership is a relational act. It is impossible to lead people with whom you have no relationship. People who lead by writing books or writing a blog are in a relationship with the people who read what they write.
Leaders become leaders by relating honestly with themselves. They recognize who they are and what they value and share that with other people. Leaders are in the process of becoming more intimately connected to themselves, exploring their own deeper selves. Leaders appreciate who they truly are, and share their true selves with the people around them.
Being a leader means that you are willing to know yourself and to be authentic with other people. It does not depend on your title or position description. Leadership is having the courage to be who you really are.
When I am honest with myself, and when I share the truth of who I am with other people, my core values connect with the values of the people around me. Our relationship goes deeper than shared tasks and objectives; we come to know and trust each other. The values and vision we share give us a basis to be more innovative and creative.
Our true selves draw us toward something more.
What are the things you have valued for as long as you can remember?
How are you willing to share your truest self with other people today?
[Image by Jeremy Vandel]