Did you know that if you ask a room full of people when if they are confident or comfortable to call themselves a leader, only less than a third will raise their hands?
Why is this? Why are we so uneasy about calling referring to ourselves as leaders?
Is it a humility thing? Do we want to stay modest and not think highly of ourselves?
Or are we really not confident about our leadership abilities? Do we really not see ourselves as a leader?
For almost all people, leadership is something that should be earned. We have the conception that leadership is hard to attain and given to only a deserving few, while others are destined to be wallowing followers, aimlessly going about their way unless someone “leads” them.
We have made leadership into something so big and beyond us. So huge that we equate leadership into changing the world or at least effecting major change.
And because of this concept that we’ve built in our heads, we focus all our energy and time on celebrating only the big wins and the large leadership accomplishments. We no longer pay attention to the small daily victories where we are able to exercise leadership.
We devalue the things that we can do every day and don’t allow ourselves to be commended or recognized for them because we think they are worthless or too irrelevant to even acknowledge.
However, there are a lot of people all over the world who have helped redefine leadership in a way that will bring all of us happiness and fulfillment if we all learn to embrace it today.
This is the everyday leadership concept.
Simply put, everyday leadership is the ability to lead yourself and accomplish a small victory, private or public, that has brought you at a higher level from where you are before you started a task.
Take for instance a young boy in grade school trying to overcome a difficult homework. He’s been wrestling with it for the past hour or so. His smartphone beeps.
He saw his friends on social media going out for a bobba tea. He contemplates on whether to join them and get a sip of that refreshing drink or just do the diligent thing and stay home to finish his homework that’s due the next morning.
The older generation would probably say oh, that’s a no-brainer. Of course finish your homework. Yet nowadays this is fast becoming an arbitrary situation. What used to be black and white has now turned ten shades of grey.
The young man might opt to just rush his homework in the morning or even settle for not submitting at all since it’s just one subject. Anyway, he can probably make up for it next time. So going out with his friends now won’t seem like such an awful thing to do.
But the fact of the matter is one homework does matter since our educational system is based on cumulative learning. The things that are taught at the beginning of the syllabus do affect what you will be capable of learning as the course progresses. So missing out on one homework could start an avalanche of misunderstanding future lessons and eventually flunking the subject.
But because he was able to do the responsible thing, he was able to lead himself into behaving a level higher than what is expected of him. And the result was him bettering himself and bringing him closer to his goal, which is to get better grades and be well-educated.
One might argue that that doesn’t equate to leadership, but more so on self-discipline and a keener sense of responsibility. But may I remind you that these two are some of the most crucial traits of leadership? And possessing them at an early age will work wonders for the young man later on in his life as he tries to conquer even more situations and circumstances.
Sometimes it’s quite overwhelming for us to think that we are that powerful and we can create that much of an impact. But if we make leadership such a huge deal, we can escape it and always say that it’s not for us.
Making leadership larger than what it really is allows us to excuse ourselves from being expected to lead in any capacity we can. After all, it’s much easier to just be a follower. Nothing is expected of you. And you don’t have to contribute much.
But if we are able to see beyond the mask of ostentatious leadership, as most of us have made it be, we will be empowered enough to practice everyday leadership in all corners and aspects of our lives. Imagine what world we could have if we all had this mindset.