Monday typically brings around my fitness blog, but about the only thought I have to say in regards to fitness today is that when I did my Saturday morning run, I realized that while "pounding the pavement" is one way to sort through my thoughts, the other way is "pounding the keys". Meaning, letting the thoughts flow through the tips of my fingers to the pages of my blogs.
I really am just one voice among millions who blog. You could choose any blog to read. I appreciate those of you who stick with me through mine. I am really no expert on any one subject matter, I just have a lot of thoughts which I push out onto virtual paper as the lessons I am learning through this journey of life. Many bloggers out there have expertise in one area and write about that. My blog? I try to be as real as you can find, whether the thoughts are relevant to one topic or not (and most often, they are not... )
What's on my mind most this week is leadership. I can't really explain why that topic keeps penetrating my thought process, but as it does, I find the way to work through that is to write. Some thoughts remain in my mind, or quietly shared in the comfort of a chair over a cup of coffee with a best friend.
The topic of leadership stands true to be one on which I am no expert. However, I have been thinking about what makes a leader a leader. I have served under several different bosses, all of whom have had different styles. I have learned much from being under various personalities. But I believe each person who is a leader has a unique style. I observe husbands and fathers who lead their families in different manners. I have read books about leadership. No one formula to becoming and being a leader exists; it looks different in each personality.
There is optimism and Pessimism in leaders. There are dictators and there are teachers. There are quiet leaders, who bring up more leaders by their powerful examples. And there are loud leaders, who demand respect and want the attention, and gain it, but not always in the most positive ways. Leadership has no one great definition.
I do not think leadership can be forced. And I feel that to be a leader, you must first be a learner- willing to admit to wrongs and not knowing it all, but celebrating those on the team who do contribute to those moments, and allowing the more knowledgable one to have the moment.
There are born leaders, and there are leaders who rise up through time.
When I worked at Starbucks, I started out very timid. And in my head, I would say "I'm not a leader." And yet through time there, I rose up to become a shift supervisor. When I was a shift supervisor at Starbucks, and I wanted to continue to grow and "move up", I was told I needed to be more assertive. And yet, when I tried to do that in ways I'd seen other leaders within the company do it, I learned different styles of leadership existed. Because the reality is, that moment I attempted to to get what needed done accomplished, it landed me in a spot of needing to apologize and correct the formula. I found out The way I lead through my experiences there looked very different from the other managers styles. But, in time, I gained respect because of how I led, not because I copied another leader's style.
In my life, I have been under some great leaders, or I have had the opportunity to be immersed in the culture of watching other great leaders. I'll recall some of those experiences this week, since that is the topic on my mind. My dad is one of the great leaders I have watched. Some of my bosses have been. And as a once barista inside a fast growing company, I had the opportunity to experience different personalities of leaders. The greatest book of leadership, the Bible, is full of great leaders, as well as stories of those who were not.
Being a leader looks different in every environment.