Do You Know Who You Are as a Leader?

June 13, 2011

Does that seem like a strange question? Have you thought about it recently? Who are YOU as a leader?

Have you given up on yourself because others view you a certain way? Has society, your teachers, your family, your friends, your coworkers and even your kids already decided who you are and you have bought into it? Have you ignored, neglected or forgotten some of your passions and dreams? As a leader, you will have the greatest impact when you are able to integrate all parts of who you are and when you are able to be with yourself and with others fully present and authentic.

I attended my younger son's graduation from 6th grade last week. He attends Santa Barbara Montessori School  in California and is entering into the Erdkinder class which is made up of 7th and 8th graders. He is fortuante to be in a learning environment where his whole being is supported and he can learn to lead from his own strenghts, passions, desires and weaknesses. He and his classmates, along with the 8th grade graduates all gave a speech. These were 11-12 year olds and 13-14 year olds. Do you remember yourself at that age? Not exactly the easiest thing to stand up in front of a bunch of adults and the rest of the kids in the school and inspire them through your words.

Each speech was as unique as the child who created it. The audience laughed, cried, felt moved and felt the impact these young people are already having in the world. This is not about "doing" a charity or "performing" for a grade or an award. This is about being authentically who you are, embracing it and being the best you can be. It is about connecting with yourself, your heart and your soul. From this place you feel strong and from this place you will have the most impact as a leader. So whether it was the young man who embraced his nerdiness and lack of athletic desire or the young woman who stated that she will qualify for the next Olympics or any of the other kids embracing their musical talents, humor, wit, intelligence and their unique stories... they were inspiring.

So, just as my son quoted Confucius in his speech, “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”

  • Take 1 minute right now,
  • Write down 1 current situation where you want to go with all of your heart, be more fully present
  • Write down 2 actions you can take this week that would allow you to do this
  • Notice what happens within you and with others over the next couple of weeks

And thank you for reading my blog!