Leadership is one of those words that conjures so many images – title, authority, seniority, experience. When we delve into the formal definition it encapsulates the action of leading a group of people or the ability to do this. For me, the essence of leadership is about people. It is about who you are being when you show up in life, when you show up for the people who surround you. It is your presence in the conversation, it is the deep listening and it is the establishment of a relationship connection as you lean in and build trust. When l really delve deep, it’s the moment you lead with an open heart, your rawness shines through and when you are not there, people connect with the experience of what you made them feel at the time when you were leading.
Stepping in to the inner quest to unravel what it means to be a leader, involves understanding who you are, what you care about and above all why you do what you do. It begins with rediscovering you. Your values, beliefs, strengths and your unique DNA that creates the blueprint for others. Know what you want to do and why you want to do it. To become the maker of your own life, you must know you.
There are many great leaders throughout history who have inspired millions of people. They instill confidence to allow others to achieve what others may not have considered possible. All great leaders led themselves before leading others. So it bears the question- How can we inspire others if we don’t inspire ourselves?
People want to know what you stand for. What you really care about, what drives you, what makes you happy, what ticks you off and what inspires you? They want to know why they ought to be following you.
Giving people your own time and energy is one of the most valuable gifts leaders can do. We often experience the exchange of energy and time having a far greater impact than money in building culture of trust and safety.
Over the years, it has come clear that hierarchical positions do not define leaders. Leaders treat every opportunity as something worthy regardless of role, responsibility or position. Each moment you share with a person provides an opportunity to inspire. When you recognize how you shine, you give the gift so others can see themselves through you.
All that we come in contact are our people. When we come from a place of being present in our contacts it fulfils a human desire within us. A universal need to belong. We know when others put the needs of their people above their own, they foster a culture of trust and safety. As social beings, we are innately predisposed to connect. We are wired to work on something bigger than ourselves.
Placing a person’s well-being ahead of a short term gain fosters a relationship, builds a culture of loyalty, resilience and productivity. Our gift is to empower others to achieve things that they did not think were possible. When we apply this idea to all facets of life we create a human-centered workplace that prioritizes the well-being of their people. People reciprocate by supporting each other, including the well-being of an organization. What a gift to ourselves, what a gift to others and what a gift to the world.
Angela Kambouris Consultancy