Am I a leader?
Well, I have a blog, I’ve written a book (which is in the process of publication) and I attract a lot of people who come to me for advice. I have chosen to put myself out there yes, yet, I’ve never been comfortable with calling myself a leader as such?
It’s a topic which suddenly a light was shone upon, out of nowhere, and now I am wondering what the fear is all about? This was thrown my way for a reason perhaps, for I have noticed a deep call for clarity of late – in all areas where previously I have been somewhat unsure.
Its a little reminiscent of starting a big spring clean, and then re-decorating – with complete alignment. No more guesswork. Time to (at least begin to) step into truth, who we are and what we love.
In the case of my blog, I truly and honestly started blogging almost entirely for myself. I needed to access my heart’s desire for creativity and writing. I needed to share and connect, and gain a sense of worth and value in the world once again after years of living with chronic illness. But along the way, people started reading my words, liking them, and inevitably things shifted somewhat….
I’ve dabbled with words like mentor or coach but these feel even further from the truth for me. For I am not seeking to teach, or to pretend I know everything. If I did I wouldn’t still be chasing health and treading my own tentative steps. Yet, I also believe that the very best leaders are the ones on their own path, and these are the people whom I look to for guidance myself.
Yes, I love to share my knowledge and wisdom. I love to have in-depth soul- satisfying discussions (with myself and others) in order to really dig deep, to expand, and to move forwards. I’ve been told I am wise (cue slight embarrassed grimace here) and I revel in helping to make things better if even just in very small ways. So then does that automatically make me a leader?
Mmmmm its a concept upon which I need to explore my feelings much further clearly… And I am going to use the act of writing (it out) here to do so. For I find free-flowing writing to be the very best teacher.
Cue a blog post of consideration.
The process of writing my forthcoming book I see in words (you can get a peek at some of the poems HERE.) has been one which constantly delivered so many valuable and incredible lessons to me. It was a true gift in so many ways. Within the task of editing, pulling it together, and preparing for launch interviews, I have had to become really shiny clear on my beliefs and my views in relation to the words I have written and the topics I discuss. There is no room to flounder when you have put your name to something with a price tag after all.
I have to say I really appreciated and enjoyed the complete submersion it required – as a change. For I don’t always do this. I don’t always follow all the way through. I usually begin, go as far as feels beneficial to gather as much information as I require (which is generally quite a lot), and then move on. I have a need to learn, so that I understand, but not necessarily an urge to retain all the information so fully that I can expertly and precisely recall it evermore. There are just too many things I am interested in to do that. And we therefore all pick and choose our expertise with delicate care.
I guess my initial hesitation is that I always had the notion that a genuine leader knows ALL the answers within his/her field.
I have a feeling this may have been my first mistake?
Let’s delve deeper – I am very much a 50 shades of grey person at heart (as in very little is truly black or white – and not relating to THAT book), and quite honestly I see this as a strength which allows me to consider every angle and see both sides. Writing my book allowed me to simultaneously play to my strengths, and go outside my comfort zone in that I could explore my main concept (using creativity to aid healing and live our best lives) yet also stick with it until I had formulated complete clarity. Until I knew my craft well enough to be considered any kind of expert. Or leader.
For even within blogging I haven’t really had to fully think a concept right the way through, to pull it apart, and put back together, until every hole is stitched back up utterly and completely. I always have a viewpoint, don’t get me wrong, for I am the opposite of someone who sits on the fence, I just carefully consider. A lot. I know there mostly is more than one truth and not always a neat, fit in the box answer or solution. I am pretty sure this ability is what makes a natural writer. We have the imagination gene.
Taking a pause here…..
A moment to assess.
Reading over my words (above), I am feeling that familiar twirling sensation inside which you get when in the actual presence of a internal shift happening. Exactly where clarity is almost formed, but needs you to roll with it, and stay with it a little longer, for it to finally morph into its completed shape….
I am right here in the act of working it through and working it out as the cogs turn over.
Much like sunshine just about to burn through the foggy morning sky. It’s coming …..
And it arrives. And suddenly I am clearer.
Now, I’m actually surprised that I both feared leadership, and thought that I wasn’t cut out to be one. These shifts (and their arrivals) do make me giggle.
As with so much, its all about the re-frame isn’t it? Taking a pre-conceived idea and watching it alter into what it truly means, and what feels comfortable for you.
Because the greatest of leaders cannot possibly know everything. This was a false judgement of mine. The greatest leaders have leaders of their own whom they refer (and defer) to after all.
Also, I previously assumed that one stepped up to the calling of being a leader. That they chose it. From a place of wanting power perhaps.
Wrong. so wrong.
(Eek. Embarrassed again, I slowly remove hands which cover eyes…)
Only now can I understand how actually we are all leaders. By default of being human beings and having human connections we are leaders. We guide, we advise, we support, we LEAD all of the time. As parents, as friends, as employers, as bloggers, as authors, etc. Some go further through a natural evolution process of reaching their ultimate highest calling … but it doesn’t necessary start out with this intention.
And so tentatively perhaps I will say that I am on the path of (un-intentional) leadership after all. More than I ever knew. More than I was previously comfortable with. I imagine its how many of today’s conscious leaders began. They learn their craft and they share… and it progresses to un-intentional leadership, then on to fully owning and embracing it, should they choose.
For me, moving delicately into leadership doesn’t mean I am required to teach, or that I am accountable in this way, for I don’t profess to be a coach as I stated before. It is more that I can now recognise the HUGE difference between being a coach, and being a leader. And the latter is a honour (and a privilege) to be quite honest, for how magical and jaw-dropping is it that others do in fact look to us?
Another pause to appreciate this wonderful opportunity.
What I am comfortable with is sharing my story and my findings, Being open and truthful. Offering wisdom when I feel the desire and when I feel the calling (on topics which inspire me), but not when demanded. It has to come from the heart for me to be a genuine leader.
And maybe thats exactly what happens – when we follow our heart, allow the flow, and start creating, we become unintentional leaders by default – if the content is good enough anyway.
We put our thoughts, our words, our projects out there and in doing so we attract those of a similar mind. These people join the discussion, ask us questions, and before we know it (and whether or not we are completely ready) we are looked upon as leaders – of sorts?
And upon this recognition we then progress toward conscious leadership in our desire to do even greater good. A place where we mindfully create a vision, a movement or just something bigger.
Within the chapters of I see in words I write a lot about how indulging in our pleasures is the same as following our passions, How then through following passion it leads us to our purpose. And how purpose leads us to our service offerings. But what I omitted (and there may well have to be a second book discussing this now) is that service can lead you to leadership – which evolves naturally to conscious leadership for the right person.
Woah – Service can lead you to leadership. Who would have thought?
Taking a moment to let that wash properly over me…. Whilst I also multi-task and allow my brain to fizz and consider if my book needs re-editing again!
Passion = Purpose = Service = Leadership = Conscious Leadership.
Brilliant. It all makes sense, and my fear has diminished a lot.
It feels good to really reach a conclusion within my musings now, and I’m grateful to be moving into this space after years of apprenticeship.
I would also really LOVE to hear your thoughts. Are you a leader? Was it intentional or did your path lead you here? And how comfortable do you feel with the concept if you re-frame it slightly as I have done? Please share your leadership story – even if you have never considered it (or the fact that YOU are one) before?
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