Leadership grows in the everyday.
It is easy for some people to get caught up in understanding leadership as a set of lessons to be learned. We tend to believe that we will be effective leaders when we have mastered the essential leadership skills and concepts.
Other people see leadership as a quality, or a group of qualities. We look for the characteristics of leaders we admire, and try to find those same traits in ourselves. We see ourselves as effective leaders to the extent that we exhibit those qualities.
Many people see leadership as a demanding responsibility. We approach leadership assuming that we will need to make sacrifices, to give up things we value, to twist ourselves into someone we are not to become effective leaders.
For me, those views of leadership do not tell the deeper story.
Being a leader is not about learning a set of predetermined lessons or trying to demonstrate certain qualities. Of course, leaders learn lessons and show their qualities. Being a leader is not about getting the right answer.
Of course, leadership is demanding. Being a leader, though, is not about contorting yourself into a different shape to fit someone else’s idea of who you need to be.
Leadership is about becoming, not about arriving.
Becoming a leader is being transformed, not completing a course.
We grow as leaders each day. Some days we grow more dramatically, and some days we grow more obviously. Some days the growth is slow and painful.
We grow as leaders each day, and our growth continues day after day. Our roots go deeper, we reach higher, and our leadership grows.
How are you growing as a leader today?
Will your leadership be stronger at the end of this week than it was at the beginning?
[Image by Will Clayton]