We had a really great Thanksgiving season at my house this year. Lots of family came – which is great. But we had one extra special guest – my granddaughter. She doesn’t live close by so it’s kind of a big deal when we get to spend some time with her. The last time we were together she was not walking – but now she is! And she likes to go places.
Sometimes she wants you to go with her. Her verbal skills aren’t honed yet – so often it’s hard to understand exactly what she wants you to go see – but one thing is for sure – when she wants you to see something she wants you to come WITH HER – RIGHT NOW! She will grab me by the finger and away she pulls in the direction she wants me to go. And guess what – I GO! She has power that she doesn’t even realize.
You know what, I think we all do. I think we all have power to invite those around us to take a walk with us. Whether literally or figuratively I believe we are all being given opportunities on a daily – yes daily basis to invite those around us to take one step in a strategic direction. There’s the obvious – parents inviting their kids or bosses inviting their employees. But just as strategic are those kids who are inviting their parents or those neighbors that are inviting other neighbors. Anyone who is inviting someone else to consider a new idea or join them in doing something significant.
Why do I feel this way? Because I believe that “anyone can lead, anytime, anywhere.”*
To understand this principle it’s important to note early what it is not saying. It doesn’t say that no matter what we do that everyone will follow us anytime, anywhere. That’s not going to happen. But it does affirm something powerful – any of us CAN lead.
- Any of us CAN choose to skillfully intervene in a challenging situation.
- Any of us CAN choose to manage ourselves so as to be a more influential presence.
- Any of us CAN choose to be more curious about a volatile moment than reactionary.
- Any of us CAN choose to bring energy to a challenge rather than fade into the room.
But these are actions that require a choice. Remember – when we speak about leadership in this series we talking about leadership as an activity – a verb. Not everyone can sit at the helm of a great organization as the leader (noun). But anyone CAN reach for the finger of another and invite them to a new place or thought.
This IS leadership.
*Kansas Leadership Center – Leadership Principle #2.