By Annie Lim
Leader. The word is a daunting one to many, especially women. Many times I have to acknowledge women for their leadership and that they are a leader and very often, the respond I get is, “Oh, no, I am not a leader, I am just doing what I am supposed to do or I am just doing it because I want to.” Many don’t own their leadership and their power. Some women have come to understand the word ‘Leader’ and ‘Leadership’ come with huge responsibility and in this context, their idea of responsibility is burden and/or obligation. They are afraid that if they lead, they might make mistakes and it will cost too much to others and/or themselves. The fact is many whom we called ‘Leaders’ do make mistakes and at times cost others or themselves. It is part of the journey.
To me, every human being is a leader. It is never a conversation about whether a leader is natural or developed. It is innately our nature. It is that we failed to see that we are a leader when we were growing up due to our environment and surroundings and we collected those evidence to be true and decided that we are not a leader. Or we had a very different definition of a leader as above. And because the pieces of evidence are so real in our own world, we believe it and agreed that we are not a leader.
Firstly, we are born to lead our own lives. If you look up the definition of a leader in the dictionary, it says someone who guides and directs and that’s what we are born to do in this world. The moment we arrive, we knew what we needed, we knew how to get what we want by crying and asking for attention, we knew how to lead our own lives.
Recently, I had a meeting with my team and we were discussing our Leadership Circles and were looking at how to develop a system that works and during the discussion, we also worked on defining leadership. Our experience with the women in our current Leadership Circles is they do not normally offer to step up to the role of leadership in fear of what it takes to be one. And one of the team members suggested that we highlight to them what they need to do to be a leader in the Leadership Circle. And I wanted to clarify what I see a leader as. The minute I explained to her what I see a leader is, I saw her eyes lit up and a breath of energy came upon her with excitement and enthusiasm. It’s like a light bulb just came on and she immediately went to her heart and said yes that is who we are, a Leader. We made the word ‘Leader’ so significant and big that it becomes somewhat unreachable yet it is merely about guiding and directing and we do direct and lead our own lives whether it is the best direction we are heading to or not, is a separate question.
Are you a Leader? A definite yes for me. Remember, life is a journey, embrace it while you are learning and growing and mistakes are just learning experiences. Continue to learn skills and tools to improve how you will lead yourself as you navigate yourself in this world.
Originally posted 2016-03-30 04:33:31.