The marmoreal white, creamy, snow textures garnish the Finnish landscape. Winter has arrived once again with its seasonal freezing greetings and while the outside world seems to have gone into hibernation and everything remains otherworldly silent and still, we remain aware of the painful reminder that the viral movement that hit the world last March, is still present in our society. A new neighbor has entered every corner of the modern civilization and threatened to put the world we knew upside down. In these dark times, while governments and people try to stop the pandemic from reaching the summit of yet a worse scenario, people remain uncertain of what is yet to come. While some blame world leaders from not taking the right measures, others blame their own and other people’s leadership. It is for this reason that if we want to thrive as a society towards clearer shores, we need to look upon our own inner leader and act accordingly.
Leadership is about vision and responsibility, not power.
Leadership in nowadays society is a fancy word that everyone seems to know, posses and understand, but do we really know what this millenial and gen z oriented new skill is, and yet more importantly, how it affects our perception of who we are as individuals sharing a human experience on this planet?
When people ask what leadership or a leader are, we often imagine individuals such as CEOs, politicians, entrepreneurs, and celebrities. This image and perception of the term is mainly brought to us by the media and even if it is partially true, in our daily lives in couldn’t be farther from it.
So, what is leadership and how is it defined? If we look it up on the internet, we come across two definitions:
- To lead a group of people or an organization.
- the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal.
If you asked me which of the two is my favourite, the second one would be my answer. Simply put, to lead reminds me of an authoritary position or behaviour, while considering it an art to motivate, tells me that, what this skill is all about, is to direct in an emotional way.
Leadership is owning both vision and direction!
In today’s society, in contrast with the past, people no longer seek job opportunities to secure a safe paying job, but to belong to communities and build life long connections with their peers. Leadership in the modern world, is in a way, democratized, as people more than ever before are free to choose their goals in life and build their own careers. Some people say that leaders are born, but I have to disagree. While it is true that leadership is an energy some people transmit and posses, it also is a state of mind and skill everyone can learn. This being said, you need to acknowledge, that you and everyone else on this planet, are leaders of your own lifes. No matter how little of an impact you make, if you make one, then you are a leader. That is what I have come to believe after all these years.
Being cocky is not being a leader! Most leaders lead with emotion and not ego. Behind each leader, there is a team of hard working individuals that help such a person to climb up the ladder to the top, it is not a solitary journey, believe me.
The media always portraits leaders as popular beings that attract attention wherever they go, but personally I think as history has proven countless times, that many leaders are many times considered outcasts and not liked by many people. The visionary and purposeful individuals sometimes attract the negative type of people and this can be fatal for their talent, but those who thrive and raise up, have been found to be true changemakers.
I believe everyone has a leader in their DNA. I am aware that many readers will desagree, but I tell those who may not belive my point, to try to find on themselves traits of a leader and act accordingly. Leading with emotion is a duty to be feared. As humans we are always moved by the troublesome chemical reactions that play inside our body and that unknowingly makes us take decisions, first in our rocket years-our 20s- and later on the decades to come.
So, now that you have reached the conclusion that you probably are a leader, let me guide you through the ingredient list that this manual hides between its pages. I am talking about the traits that every single one of us have and that may or not be the reason why you still don’t consider yourself a leader.
Leaders tend to be charismatic (they attract, they are likeable) in the way that their passion speaks for themselves in every task they perform. Now, we all know how to be charismatic on dating apps, right? Then, there is no excuse to not be likeable outside of your dating life.
- They tend to use a very well-dressed variety of words when they try to transmit their ideas. Each sentence acts as an ignitor to catch attention from those, they may find themselves surrounded with. Now, when we are surrounded by our friends we tend to be passionate about sharing our days and talk about things we care. We are millenials and gen z people, to talk and express ourselves is oxygen for us. So, try to be the same when doing job related tasks. We are social beings at the end of the day and no one likes strict people, so be as fresh and friendly as a daisy.
- Non conformism and not sticking to the rules are natural ways for leaders to see the world and reality around them. They basically don’t belong to the natural way of thinking society has emprinted on us.
- They see opportunities where others see difficulties and risk. Remember, difficulties are like cakes, the better the colleagues that help you go through them, the better the taste of them.
- Leaders are both introvert and extrovert. They just know how to switch between the two depending the environment they are in at the moment.
- Leaders are not strict. They are emotional beings, as direction and vision always need emotion to awaken curiosity in others.
- They don’t demand to be listened. They listen first, then talk.
- Leaders unlike being portrated as lions and lionesses are more often gazelles. Weakness is many times something they are aware of and do not care to share it with others.
- Leaders are all the 7 billion people that wake up everyday with a newborn sun and go to sleep with an argentum moon.
- A leader is, that reader who is going through this lines at this very moment.
Let’s ignite and hatch that leadership egg. Remember leadership is a skill anyone can master and boost. Strive to be you and allow yourself to go for your goals. Take others with you on that journey and show them the impact they too can have in others. If we all started following this chain of impact imagine the outcomes! Give yourself permission to be who you dream to be. You don’t need someone to recognize your value! Look for opportunities like a hunter, but move through them like a gazelle.
To all my fellow leaders out there, I hope this served as an inspiration and brightened up your day in this pandemic scenario!
David Cabezon (Day for friends)