What Is Leadership?

There is something mystical about a man or woman who is standing in what we call leadership. What is leadership? What is this thing that causes thousands upon thousands of people to stand on their values and reach high into the heavens for the sake of their ideals? What is about this verb that causes people to stretch far beyond them so that they can lead for the sake of creating what is commonly known as a ‘better world?’

This act that is called leadership has existed from the beginning of time. Men and women throughout history have lost their lives and their freedom in acts of leadership. They have torn down and rebuilt kingdoms because they gripped their beliefs in the palm of their hands and were willing to live or die for what they believed. They were not silenced and most were only silenced by death and in many cases the accounts of their work spoke louder after their deaths.

There is something tender about a man or a woman who is truly living in what is called their leadership. Leadership is a tender notion born in the heart, a notion so small that at first it only appears to be an urge. An urge that stirs a human being toward a belief. A belief that causes men and women to dream and ultimately to create, to create structures where productivity thrives. What is it about thriving that we are so attracted to? What is this thing that we commonly know as a ‘better world?’

A better world is a world where freedom exists. Freedom is created from peace. Peace is needed to create. Creating is what we do, it is what we are. Creation is an act of love. The desire to lead is an act of self love. We desire movement, so the self speaks to the heart the heart speaks to the brain a decision is made. An act is followed by a decision to stand up in the strength of knowing that making a change is possible, because we are free to do so.

The world has witnessed acts of leadership that have been grand and earth shaking. I know leadership that is small, delicate, fragile and vulnerable. A thought, a tender word, a kiss, a prayer are places where leadership shows up. It takes very little energy and only a small invitation to stand on our values and reach high into the heavens for the sake of our ideals.

Leadership shows up in the mother who wakes up at four o’ clock in the morning and goes to work because she wants to create a better life for her children. Leadership is picking up a paint brush for the sake of self expression, pain or beauty. Leadership lives in music and dance. It is in the act of listening to a colleague and remembering that you are not only a boss but a human who is capable of compassion. Leadership is being conscious of the fact that you can and will make mistakes and fail. Leadership lives in the heart of the tinker, tailor, soldier and sailor. It is magnified by that mystical phenomenon called love, is love mystical?

Theresa Norris, CPCC http://www.norriscoaching.com

Photo by Theresa Norris

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