I don’t really know when I became a leader or when I realized I was a leader for that matter. For the most part I’ve never wanted to be a leader and often when called on to lead I’ve been a reluctant leader at best.
As a little girl growing up there were a lot of different things that I thought I wanted to be someday.
I remember wanting to be a lawyer or a writer at one point. When I was older I considered social work and teaching elementary school. The one thing I always knew I wanted to be was a mom, probably because I had such a good mom. Ultimately I have still never decided what I want to be when I grow up. There are just so many things to choose from and I want to try lots of them. But I don’t think I ever considered wanting to be a leader.
This wanting to be a mom thing is working out pretty well so far. I am blessed to have a great relationship with all 3 of my daughters and they adore me. (Trust me, they adore me.) They are often my biggest fans and my best cheerleaders. They teach me new things and encourage me to do more than I think I can do. Not everyone has or does encourage me to lead or to step out of my comfort zone but I can always count on my girls. ♥️
I grew up in a pretty traditional, conservative faith setting. And while I don’t negate the idea that men should be spiritual leaders in their homes and in our churches, I really think some folks in the faith community have gone a bit overboard with that line of thinking and twisted it into the idea that women should never be leaders or should only be leaders in very defined circumstances.
I’ve actually been told that women shouldn’t ever be supervisors of men in the work place. Hmmm. I’ve heard that women are supposed to be submissive to ALL men. Um sorry! Not happening! You can ask my husband. I have enough trouble being submissive to him…but I’m getting better. Really I am! )Just trust me on this one too.)
I’ve been told I was just naive when I dared to disagree with a man. I’ve been told I should just let the men handle it. I’ve been kicked out of a meeting so the men could discuss my job without me. I been told that men hate having a woman for a boss.
Once I was even told that the only reason the God called Deborah to be the leader of Israel in the Old Testament was because He couldn’t find a man for the job.
Yet, even though the ‘good ole boys club’ is alive and well, with an active membership, I think men are pretty cool people in general. Not as cool as us girls but still definitely cool in their own special way.
Several years ago I started collecting some gentlemen that I’ve come to affectionately call “my wise guys”. They are wise. Both spiritually and in areas of business and leadership. I also have tribe of wise girls that I’ve collected but “wise girls” just doesn’t have the same ring to it so I don’t call them that. I just call them friends. I’ve been blessed to have both men and women who have been willing to mentor me, officially and unofficially. They are often my sounding boards. They encourage me. Sometimes they nag me. They challenge me. Oh boy do they challenge me! And usually they believe in me well before I believe in myself.
I’ve been thinking that actually that’s probably a really huge part of becoming a great leader—having people around you who believe in you when you don’t yet believe in yourself.
Of course there is more to leadership than that but if I had to bet the farm I think I’d bet that the root of great leadership starts with having someone who believes in you and in your ability to lead. Sometimes all it takes is just one person.
So I guess, circling back to the beginning here, I probably started to see myself as a leader when others began to encourage me to lead. And I probably decided I wanted to be a leader when I started to realize that I wanted to be like the awesome leaders that God has put into my life….well, that and then there have been those other times when I’ve encountered really awful leaders and I’ve found myself thinking…well, maybe I’d better just stick with the first part of that thought. 😬
Who are the great leaders in your life and how have they encouraged you to be more and do more than you thought you could do?
Have you considered that you have the opportunity change the world just by letting someone know that you believe in them. Great leaders make the world better for all of us! We could definitely use a lot more of them.
Do you consider yourself a leader? Do others? (The answer to that is Yes! Someone in your life looks to you for leadership and guidance.)
I believe great leaders encourage others to see and use their skills and talents.
Who do you believe in? Have you told them? Have you encouraged them to lead well? Someone close to you needs your encouragement! I guarantee it.
Great leaders love to help others become great leaders too.
If I’ve challenged you, encouraged you, made you laugh or made you roll your eyes I’d be thrilled and honored if you’d share my blog on your social media.
Drop me a comment below and share your thoughts on leadership with me. ⬇️
If you need someone to encourage you email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org