In the words of 20th Century lawyer, broadcast executive, author and pioneer of social responsibility in the media Donald H. McGannon, “Leadership is action, not position.” I couldn’t agree more. Whether you lead a business, a team, a family, a committee, your own life, or something else, you are a leader.
A mentor of mine once shared a position about leadership that really made sense to me, one that I have adopted in my own life to great effect. The position is this: “anytime I want something to be different, it is a leadership opportunity.” Taking this position brings a higher level of responsibility. It is much easier to criticize what other people are doing than get out there and be part of the solution. It takes more time and energy to educate yourself about an issue, determine how it might be resolved, and take steps to resolve it, than it does to complain about how other people are doing it. I think it’s worth the effort.
If I want something different in my career, in my family, or in my community, these are all leadership opportunities. Stepping into leadership requires a willingness to stand up for what you want and believe in, take action to create it, and make an impact in the area(s) you have identified as important to you. Strong leaders build strong communities. Leading by example is a great place to start. Focus on what’s good and take action around what you think needs improvement. At the very least, refrain from complaining and criticizing others for their efforts.
When people work together to change things for the better, the results are astounding. Rather than stand against something, stand FOR something, and do something about it. We are all leaders; let’s take that role to heart and realize our potential for the highest good of all.