Is it just me or are we constantly surrounded by articles and blogs on leadership. As I write this short blog I'm struck by the irony that here I am adding another one to the list ! But I hope this one offers a slightly different perspective on the topic.
I've noticed from the articles and books that I read about the topic that often leadership is seen as the responsibility of the head of an organisation or for the executive team. We hear about leadership presence, leadership style, servant leadership and on and on. Yet so many senior managers find themselves either completely disconnected from the concept believing it doesn't apply to them. Or there are those who are really struggling to figure out what they need to do to become the leaders of tomorrow. It can be a tough one to figure out.
From my work as a career strategist & as a busy mum and entrepreneur I'd argue that too many of us look beyond ourselves to find the answer. We're either so busy & overwhelmed with day to day living that we're caught down in the weeds. Or else we're so focused on the future, how we're going to get to the next level & achieve our ambitious goals that we forget to live in, and enjoy, the present. I would argue that developing leadership skills is within all of us and it starts with you today right where you are.
We each have an opportunity AND, I would argue, a responsibility to show leadership. No matter where we work or what role we play in society. Whether that's leading a fund raising campaign for your local school, volunteering at a local sports club or charity or acting as a mentor for young kids & teenagers. In a work context that can be volunteering to run a project, making a suggestion to introduce a new initiative and taking on the responsibility to run with it.
I find so many people are held back by fear and excuses. Just find something you care deeply about and you'll find it much easier to step up and lead. And like everything in life, you'll make mistakes but you will learn. you will develop leadership skills and you will increase your confidence. It's scary to step out of our comfort zone. But with practice everything becomes easier.
As you become more comfortable leading, you might start attracting more attention both in your work and personal life. You might even find yourself really enjoying the sense of accomplishment that comes with taking on responsibility and leading. And when a really exciting promotion or opportunity comes along you'll be much more confident in putting up your hand for it. You'll also discover much quicker if and where you have skills gaps and can avail of the necessary training, coaching or mentoring through your workplace or privately, to help you overcome them.
Michelle O’Connor inspires executives to find more inspiring work, so they can transform their future. An executive level career strategist, Michelle is a qualified coach & has more than 20 years corporate executive recruitment experience and offers unique insights and perspectives on the executive market to help her clients prepare and position themselves for success.
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