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Leadership.

Leadership.

H.O.T. Leadership

Would you follow you?

I’m currently contributing a chapter to a book on women’s mentorship and leadership, and as I’m writing this chapter for this book, I find myself in a constant state of query – questioning EVERYTHING I know about leadership.

Like, what really makes a leader?

I’ve read hundreds of books, taken the courses – heck, I even remember being part of the H.O.T. Leadership Team in Grade 5 – which stood for Helping Others Together – however, the only thing HOT about being chosen was Jeff Hill, whom I had a major crush on, plus we got to go on a field trip together and skip school, which clearly made leadership look super HOT.

I feel like leadership is this buzz word in the working world, that to me, quite frankly, means fudge all. (Who doesn’t have “Leadership Skills” on their LinkedIn profile?!)

Let me tell you why…

I did this leadership course a few years back, and one of the exercises was to interview others about you and get true feedback on how you show up in the world.

I hated this exercise. Most people pleasers do (because we immediately want to make the other person happy and please them so they like us.)

But what I hate more is being told what I need to work on, when in fact, I already intuitively know this.

As an adult, (and I caveat that with as an adult who is over 30! I think children do need guidance in this area more so, but even then…) I know exactly where my shortcomings are. I know my strength and weaknesses. I work on them all the time with my life coach, and with my plethora army of business, health & relationship coaches.

Maybe I’m just weird that way – maybe not.

I really do think when you look deep down you know how you are showing up in the world.

You know when you aren’t smiling enough.

You know you should be working out more.

You know you should work on your public speaking.

You know that you talk too much.

Or that you aren’t paying attention to what your soul is screaming at you and following your own path, but instead what you think others want you to do.

Here’s the deal.

You can’t change the past. I find looking there for clues usually leaves you deflated and feeling like crap and adds nothing positive to your current being in the present.

So I’m of the school of thought – why dwell on it? It’s over. Telling me to my face when I already know I screwed up or didn’t nail it on the head when I did try my best is not going to win you any favours in my book.

I think my big pet peeve here is that people are so quick to call themselves leaders and use positions of power to make you feel bad about yourself  which we listen to because they are “well-respected leaders” and we were taught to “respect the leaders”, but I think we are letting too many of NOT the right leaders into our lives.

I think most “leaders”, especially from the business world, are missing a few special ingredients which I think all leaders need to really be effective leaders.

Vulnerability. Humility.

Admitting that they suck sometimes.

And then, I think and only then, you can respect someone in a leadership position because – let’s face it – who wants to follow someone who is perfect?

I took this sales course a year ago from a guy that was very well-paid leadership expert on sales and marketing.

I walked out of that day-long seminar and felt a few things.

  1. He totally came off to me that he was better at sales than anyone else. (Not a great way to get followers…)
  2. He totally didn’t resonate with me at all because of this and I felt he treated a room full of adults almost like children – telling us the rules of how to sell, making us think through our sales process instead of feeling our way through or trusting our own instincts. (When did any sales call ever go according to a script or a step by step plan?!)

Okay, to be fair, I know lots of people, especially men, may need the step by step plan if their brains are wired that way. But, you try to tell an intuitive woman who has run her business for 17 years following her gut to start following some sales protocol?

HELL NO!

I do business, as I do life, as I do anything, from my gut – from my intuition, from figuring out what will work for my life and not yours.

I am so proud that over the last few years I have finally stopped listening to EVERYONE full bore and just followed my own path.

I think so many leaders out there are trying to get you to follow their path, their systems, their past – on how they climbed Mount Everest or made a million dollars in business, but that was then, for them – it’s not now, for you.

You need to look within.  Always. And Trust.

God gave you a specific purpose. He didn’t want you to be someone’s puppet.

Take this from someone who has been MANY people’s puppets in the past – and if you are a people pleaser – this is you to a T.

Danielle LaPorte says it best in her new book, White Hot Truth,

You are the authority on you. Nobody knows better than you what’s right for you. NOBODY. Final say? All you. No matter what…. All that experts (leaders) offer you is data for you to take into consideration. You are the centrifugal force that must filter, interpret, and give meaning to that data. Your body knows. Your heart knows. Your mind will help you act on what you know. My guiding philosophy about any philosophy is: Take what you want and leave the rest.

So, with that – how do you mentor others? How do you become a leader?

Easy.

Be FIRST.

Meaning, declare yourself a leader and start acting like it. BE what you want to be and be it with your whole heart, mind & soul and I guarantee you will show up in the world exactly as you see yourself (no stupid leadership interviews or a course to tell you that!)

When you are following your truth and living from your truth you don’t need to know or really care about what others think!

There will always be haters, and nit-pickers and people who think it should be done another way – screw them. Don’t listen. Choose the leaders you follow based on what is aligned for you.

Let’s face it. There are a million gurus to follow out there.

I personally have my mastermind of about 6 women (yes, my ultimate gurus are all women coincidently – only because I resonate with them) and when I say I would follow these women to the ends of the earth and off a bridge – I probably would. The rest, I can tune out.

(I guess there’s Jesus too… so that throws off the whole woman thing 🙂 – however….

You get to pick and choose what you want from who you want and throw out the rest. That’s the beauty of life.

Here’s the bottom line: To be an effective leader you have to be following your true path and lead from alignment with what is true to your soul. Sorry, my friends, there is no instruction manual that you were born with, although we so badly want to have one and feel it would make life so easy. This is what faith and trust are for. It’s why there is no handbook to how you should live your life and the choices you need to make every step of the way. You must tune in and see what is right for you and not anyone else. Step out in faith.

Those who step out in faith, follow their own path, with humble heart, lead people naturally.

xx

 

 

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