by Motivational Speaker Connie Podesta
Reality: Leadership is a powerful privilege--open to everyone, regardless of title or job description. Leadership is about how you CHOOSE to live your life. Often people tell me that they would hate to do what I do—speak to thousands of people every year. And I get that. In fact, research shows that 85% of people rank public speaking as their #1 fear, with death coming in as #5 and drowning #7. Think about that one for just a minute. That means that most of you would rather have me come into your house, hold your head under water until you were dead—than have my job.
But, the truth is –You all already DO have my job. Just as my audiences watch me, listen to me, form opinions about me and then make decisions about whether or not to respect me as a valuable resource, people are also watching you and making the same kind of decisions. They are witnessing how you act, think, lead, sell and communicate via your words, attitudes and behaviors. Then they’re taking what they’ve seen and deciding whether or not YOU are the kind of person with whom they would CHOOSE to: live, work, share, or have as a boss, colleague, partner, salesperson or friend. In other words — EVERYONE IS ON STAGE. And your audience is the world around you.
I have worked with some of the world’s greatest leaders and discovered two common traits:
1) They have the intuitive ability to identify the “gap” between where people (including themselves) are now and where they need to be in order to achieve powerful RESULTS
2) They have the talent and desire to use that knowledge to mentor, train, and inspire others to be confident and successful in their own right.
Leadership is more about service, than wielding power. More about empowering people than “managing” people. More about “charging people up” than being in charge. More about making good choices for the right reason than pleasing everyone.
Think about your life. What are the traits you have that could influence others to be more successful? Are you: Creative? Productive? Happy? Confident? Leadership is about the commitment to live your life in a way that INFLUENCES others in a positive way. Leadership is measured by the success of the people around us—the people that count on us—and the people who need us to show them a better way. A safer way. A more exciting way. And a way that empowers them to be the best they can be.
Great leaders understand both the POWER and the PRIVILEGE of being able to live and lead in a way that encourages others to succeed. Does that define how you try to live your life? I say “try” because as committed I am to being a good, caring, respected, compassionate, smart role model—I don’t always succeed. I do it right—then do it wrong. I influence one person in a positive way—while I feel like I’ve failed with someone else. I do my best—then take the easy way out. I challenge myself—then make excuses for myself. I model professional behavior—then freak out over something little. But…I NEVER stop trying to do it RIGHT. I NEVER stop learning more about myself. And I NEVER stop believing that I can always do better—no matter what.
Leadership is your gift to others. It is your legacy. It is how others will remember what you gave of yourself to help others. How powerful is that?
Watch Connie’s powerful leadership video — pulled straight from her IPPY Gold Medal Award Winning Best Business Book of the Year: 10 Ways to Stand Out From the Crowd! We hope you enjoy — tell us what you think!