Are You A Leader Or A Follower?
How often in your life have you settled or given up your power because you chose to let others be in charge rather than tap into the leader within you? If you find yourself feeling like you’re at the mercy of other people’s whims and decisions or want to blame someone else for the results you are (or are not) experiencing then it is likely that you are not taking responsibility for being a leader in your own life (and yes that means your career/business as well).
Are you thinking…
* But I don’t hold any leadership positions
* It’s someone else’s responsibility to
* I don’t have any control over that
If you are, then you are buying into the biggest myth about being a leader. That myth we’ve been sold by the educational system we went through, the organizations we’ve been a part of, and society at large. The myth that it is only people in leadership positions that hold any power. The myth that you do not have the response-ability to affect change in your own life. The myth that it is more acceptable to kvetch at the water cooler with everyone else than to do something about it and be the change you most want to see.
“And the first thing to know is that a “leader” is not a job description. It is a state of consciousness.” – Yehuda Berg
Here’s an example most people can relate to… so read along and then tell me which person is tapping into their leadership power.
Two people go on a job interview, are equally qualified, and perform well during the interviews. At the close of that interview here’s what transpires after the interviewer says “Thanks for interviewing, we’ll let you know what we decide about the position.”:
Person A says…
“Thank you for your time. I appreciate the opportunity and hope to hear from you.”
Person B says…
“Thank you so much. What are your next steps in the decision making process? What is your time frame for making a decision? I am currently evaluating several other exciting opportunities so I will give you a call next week to check-in as I would really like to make an informed decision and have the opportunity to contribute to your organization’s mission.”
Which person is being more of leader in their own career?
Person A who gives a passive, unlikely to make any waves answer and waits at the mercy of someone else to decide their future?
Person B who proactively gathers more information and creates the next step in the process so that the highest good of all involved can be served?
Which person do you think is most likely to complain to friends over a beer if he or she doesn’t get the job?
Which person do you think is most likely to adopt an inside/out approach and “plan – act – adjust” as they continue on their career path?
Because leadership is a state of consciousness and a way of being, you can and must be a leader in your own life if you wish to create experiences and accomplishments on your own terms. Otherwise you’re left to the whims of others… you tend to abdicate responsibility for choosing in all areas of your life… what you eat for dinner, which movie you go to see with friends, whether or not you go home on time from the office… all the way up to what hobbies you do/don’t pursue and what path you choose professionally. Then you use “I can’t” as an excuse as to why you don’t or won’t have what you most desire.
If you let others decide for you, I can almost guarantee that you will be miserable, feel wildly inauthentic, and settle for the table scraps of life.
We’ve all seen the bumper stickers “Question Authority”. I’d invite you to question authority, question what you believe to be true, and question what you think you can/cannot do. Not in an “up yours” sort of way (which is the energy that bumper sticker sometimes gives off) but in a truly curious manner. In a way that makes you go… “Hmmm… maybe something different than what I am doing or experiencing is possible.”
Because… it is possible and it can only start to become your reality if you begin the change inside of you.