Are you a leader? According to the dictionary, a leader is defined as a person who leads or commands a group, organization or country. I am not going to lie, I have never liked the definition of a leader and I have never been able to find a definition suitable enough for what I want. I also cannot stand when the word itself is used as the definition, example: A leader is one who leads. But when talking about leadership, I have found that most people, though a good definition does not truly exist, have similar ideas in mind of “leadership.”
Although there are many notions of what a good leader is or does, I think it is most often-times best described by characteristics. Brave, Courageous, Strong, Intelligent, Passionate, Dedicated, Enthusiastic, Inspiring, Transformative, Engaging, Proactive, Respectful, Responsible, Dutiful, Resourceful, and Open-Minded. These characteristics are just a few characteristics that I think of when I think of leadership, granted a leader may possess all, some or none of these characteristics and may possess a whole list I did not even include. The study of leadership and leadership theory has been around for a long time, probably since the beginning of time. If you believe in God, God as the supreme leader to the wild pack animals such as the Lion where one male lion inserts dominance as the head of the pack to even the first Cave-people. Having someone that you can look to or at as guidance has been an important notion throughout history however sometimes leaders may not necessarily be the “bold, in your face, lead the country” type of leader. Leaders exist on a daily basis and oftentimes their impact may not be as noticed because they do it quietly without fanfare.
It is this notion of “everyday leadership” that I think is really interesting. The teacher that stands around in the hallway just a few minutes longer to make sure the school bully isn’t picking on the younger student or the role model that says some encouraging piece of information to someone who is feeling down or defeated. It is this unselfish, quiet leadership that really makes a difference in this world.
We all have those role models, those mentor figures, those people who really make a difference in our lives whether it be through large actions or the small, unnoticeable actions that have huge consequences. And it is important that we are always being mindful to thank them for those contributions in our lives. Who is your everyday leader, and have you taken a minute to stop and thank them?