What is Leadership
By Haley LoBosco, LLCo Coach
Picture a world where where the most powerful leaders aren’t defined by their titles but by the impact they create. It’s a realm where authenticity and vulnerability are not weaknesses but sources of strength. If you’ve ever wondered what sets great leaders apart, if you’ve questioned the conventional wisdom of authority, and if you’re curious to discover the essence of leadership itself, then read on.
What Leadership Is Not:
Leadership is NOT being everything to everyone. This is a perfect path to burnout if you choose to lead this way. You don’t have to have all the answers, save everyone, or come up with something new or profound for every team meeting. Everything worth saying has already been said.
Leadership is NOT having all the answers. Even if you know the answer doesn’t mean you have to share it. ALLOWING your clients, team members or employees to discover the answers on their own provides an opportunity for them to build their confidence and earn your trust and respect. Simply giving them the answer seems easy but easy comes with a cost. In this case the cost could be their confidence, their empowerment and their ability to self discover.
Finally Leadership is NOT a title. Just because you have a C-level title, doesn’t automatically make you a “leader.” Leadership starts the moment you start providing value to others. In fact, you can be a leader in your place of worship, your neighborhood, in your family, all without having a title.
What Is Leadership?
So what is leadership? I believe leadership is social influence, which optimizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal.
Leadership IS showing up to lead yourself first. You can’t begin to lead others until you choose to lead yourself.
Leadership IS casting the vision. Being CLEAR about your destination, goals and expectations leaves your team feeling confident in their autonomy to make decisions knowing it aligns with their leader’s mission, vision and values.
Leadership IS being authentic and vulnerable. YES, I said it, BE vulnerable. People have an innate need to connect, contribute and grow. Having a leader who shares their failures along with their wins creates a culture of connection and safety. Leading through vulnerability is a must for becoming the type of courageous leader our industry needs.
Leadership is the ability to meet failure head-on and choose to face it because it’s the right thing to do. When you lead with vulnerability and authenticity you lead through your values. As Brené Brown says in her book Dare to Lead, “Choose courage over comfort. Choose whole hearts over armor. And choose the great adventure of being brave and afraid. At the exact same time”.