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Leading myself and others: Do I need to be in a leadership position to lead?

Sometimes I am asked "Do I need to be in a leadership position to lead?". The question may sound redundant, though I have my own perspective, one I would like to share with you. We are all leaders in a way. If not of anyone else, at least leaders of our own life. Meaning that a few hints on leadership are probably welcomed. I haven't had an official leadership position so far, which does not mean I haven't led others. My intention today is to bring some light into what I believe are examples of leadership in our everyday life. Mom-leader: In my role as a mom of 2, I certainly have a big responsibility. As I mentioned already this week, this is a co-role where I see myself as leading my kids as well as my children leading me. As a mom-leader, I do my best every day to teach them - especially by showing them - about love, respect, empathy, honesty. These are values which I found paramount both in my personal as well as in my professional life. Values which translate into attitudes and actions empowering me to lead others, beside my own kids.

Wife-leader: Despite being also a co-role, I believe that among every couple there is always one who has stronger leadership skills. I can tell you that I am that person in my relationship and my husband is completely fine with it (we talk about it openly!). As my husband's partner, I play a leading role by making daily decisions about every little detail within our household from family calendar updates to holiday planning. Plus, taking a leading position when it comes to working in our relationship. Family-leader: First and foremost, being the old sis, I try to be the best example I can be to my sister. Despite our constant fights and disagreements while growing up, nowadays we are thick as thieves. When she comes to me for sharing and advice, I lead her in the direction of her own needs acting more as a guide than as an advisor. Also, within my family circle, I am usually the one who gathers everyone together and tries to reach consensus (even when it is seems a superhuman task!). Team-leader: As I told you, I am not a manager, rather a team member. Moreover, part of a team who is spread across the globe and meets virtually daily. Regardless of everyone's maturity and autonomy while dealing with their tasks, we all need a sense of direction and union. As part of this group, this is where I see my co-responsibility and make sure I lead each one of my teammates toward a common purpose. In addition, I am always free to connect on a one-to-one basis and get a chance to empower my colleagues, for I believe in everyone's own growth potential. Coach-leader: One of my roles within and outside the organization is as a coach. Here my professional guidance can be seen as a kind of leadership. With my clients’ collaboration, I lead them toward the future they envision for themselves. I lead through a path of transition toward their personal and professional growth. Together with them, I am given the opportunity to play this privileged leadership role and grow along this personal development journey. Of course I cannot forget the most important leading position which is leading myself. Only by having developed a healthy self-esteem and self-confidence, am I able to show up every day in one of these roles and be my authentic self. Leadership is an ongoing learning process where we undergo a profound and unique transformation. When we lead ourselves from a place of robust values and principles, we are setting a good leadership example to everyone around us. If at some point you had become or plan to become a leader within your organization, you can review the situations and experiences mentioned above, see which ones resonate with you the most and hopefully feel more confident in your recent or upcoming position. Being a leader is much more than holding a leadership position and being responsible for a team. Being a leader means inspiration, change, transformation, growth, empowerment. Being a leader means empowering others – as much as yourself - inspiring them to challenge themselves towards personal and professional growth.


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