First, I would like to start this post by asking you to consider the following:
What qualities does a leader possess? Many of us will have the same vision in our heads of who a leader is, but I encourage you to think about the leader’s actions that really stand out to you. How does that person encourage you? Do you feel like you lack the potential to have any of those qualities? I am here to tell you that whether or not you are in a leadership position, you can still be a leader and a role model to those around you.
This weekend, I spent time with some of my colleagues at the Bulldog Leadership Experience, an extension of the Veterinary Leadership Institute. We learned so much about ourselves – our values, things we can improve on, goals for the future.
Some things that I want to start implementing in my life are the five aspects of leadership:
- Model the Way – Set an example for others by being the type of leader you value. For me, this is by not speaking poorly of other people. Gossip is the lowest frequency you can have and every time I participate, I come away with a bad feeling. By modeling the way, you make space for others to do the same.
- Inspire a Shared Vision – Passion breeds inspiration. Envision your best life and go for it. Create a support network that also shares your vision.
- Challenge the Process – This was a tough one for me to wrap my head around, but basically it encompasses my life motto of “taking risks” and stepping into discomfort.
- Enable Others to Act – I love this characteristic because it is all about facilitating relationships. By having enough confidence in yourself and your abilities, you make room for others to step forward into leadership roles.
- Encourage the Heart – Celebrate values and build a community where people are appreciated for their uniqueness and what they individually contribute.
What were the characteristics that you value in a leader? I am sure you would be able to place them into one of the categories listed above. So how do we go about leading from where we are? The first step is to decide what your number one value is – is it happiness? family? honesty? trust? health? intelligence? Delve deeper into that value and determine how you can make that more of a priority.
Personally, my most important value is happiness because without it I cannot be a good friend, partner, student, etc. I base my decisions around this central goal of happiness and create an environment that fosters this value. And I don’t mean happiness in the sense of “I am really happy because I just ate ice cream”. I mean an overarching joy at simply living. In order to achieve this state, without totally succumbing to the stressors of daily life and unforeseen circumstances, I practice the daily act of gratitude. To do this, I use a journal. By writing what I am grateful for each day and why, I constantly lift myself up into a lighter emotional state. There are many books on this that I have posted on my reading list page. Two of my favorites are You are a Badass by Jen Sincero and The Universe has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein. We have so many things to be grateful for – the mere act of breathing is a gift that we often take for granted. So I ask of you, try to incorporate gratitude into your life and see how it affects you. See how setting aside time to journal or read a book can change your life. Try to incorporate these ideals into your leadership technique and know that no matter whether you hold a leadership title or not, you can still be a leader to those around you. Act with love, be grateful for today, be present and above all remember that you are capable and worth it.
I am very grateful for you all.