Leadership is a high calling because of this; the fruit of wise leadership can only grow from a wise heart.
Even a small child knows the law of nature – like produces like. You plant squash, you reap squash. Plant bean seeds – you’ll eat beans. So it goes that hurting people hurt other people and bitter people leave a trail of prejudice and unforgiveness in their wake.
Imagine how different the world could be with leaders who guard their hearts and walk in love.
You can be that person! It’s not our politicians who will affect the change the world is crying out for. It’s you and it’s me. We each influence a tribe. It might be your staff, your small group, your grandchildren or the board you volunteer to chair. Whether the group is large or small – your leadership matters.
Leadership is not a title or a position. Authentic leadership is both influence and action and is expressed from the inside out. Regardless of whether you have a nameplate on your desk that says “CEO”, you are certainly the CEO of your own life. Leaders influence culture. Understanding the importance of culture helps you intentionally create a strong personal code of ethics that overflows to your community. Culture can be defined as the qualities in a person or society that arise from a concern for what is excellent. Culture is a direct reflection of core values and beliefs and thus dictates the behaviors and characteristics of a group.
Many promising leaders, are derailed because they have an inability to take an honest look at themselves – their strengths, weaknesses, vulnerabilities and potential blind spots – and deal with them maturely and professionally. There is a world of difference between those who are self-absorbed and those who are self-aware. If you are not recognizing your influence or taking your call to leadership seriously, you probably aren’t doing the work to hone your skills and abilities. Wake up! You have a responsibility to steward your gifs and talents well.
Then there are those who have lost their vision to lead. They’ve settled for less than their best – perhaps through disappointment, set-backs and discouragement. There’s a clarion call to this group to arise! There may be those stepping into your place that don’t have the heart to lead with excellence.
Regardless of where you currently are on the leadership spectrum, there’s always room for improvement. In fact, lifelong learning is a vital quality of leadership!
The Winning Edge: Qualities of Sustainable Leadership
Here are five key areas to consider in a self-evaluation:
- EQ (Emotional Quotient)
- Courageous Communication
- The Speed of Trust
“Leadership comes from influence, and influence can come from anyone at any level and in any role. Being open and authentic, helping to lift others up and working toward a common mission build influence. True leadership comes when those around you are influenced by your life in a positive way.” – Kurt Uhlir, CEO, Innovation Evangelist