While I was growing up, I never thought of myself as a leader. I didn’t volunteer to head a study group in school, or anything else that required leadership. I was happy to be in the background and support other leaders, I didn’t think that I had the right gifts for leadership.
When I was about 22 years old, I got involved in a lay care-giving ministry, Stephen Ministry, at my church, and loved every minute of it! It was a natural fit for me, I could serve using my gifts of empathy and listening. The Stephen ministry program has leaders chosen by the congregation who are then officially trained to lead the program. To my great surprise, I was asked to go through this leadership training. I had no idea why they chose me, but I realized they saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. I became a leader because someone else saw that I had what it took, even though I didn’t see it in myself.
I think many of us shy away from leadership because we don’t think we have what it takes; we don’t know how to tap into our own leadership potential.
The truth about leadership is that no one is born knowing how to be a great leader. These skills are learned and honed over time. Even though Maryanne and I teach leadership, we are always learning new concepts and sharpening our skills, getting better at the art of leadership. It is a life-long journey!
Becoming a leader starts with the recognition that we all have the ability to lead. If you are a parent, grandparent, a teacher, a coach, an aunt or uncle, a team member, a volunteer–you are a leader! If you are teaching, working towards goals, casting a vision, supporting others, or volunteering, you are using leaderships skills to do all that. Chances are, you may have done many of these things, used leadership skills, and yet never thought of yourself as a leader.
This week, we are starting our new blog series on leadership called Intentional Leadership. We will explore what leadership is, what values drive it, how to be a courageous and compassionate leader and experience joy in leadership. We are excited to get started and we hope you will join us as we take a deep dive into Intentional Leadership!