Who decides whether you lead? Is it your boss? Is it the HR department? Is it your particular set of physical characteristics—your gender, your race, your height, your looks?
Or, is it you?
I want to tell you a fun fact, my friend. You decide whether or not you are a leader.
Leadership does not depend on a title or a role. Leadership is not a privilege reserved for the few. It is a responsibility for all.
Leadership means having the courage to use your voice to speak up for what you think, what you observe, and what you believe in.
A leadership opportunity presents itself in a series of moments. You know what I’m talking about. There are moments when an injustice is occurring. A moment when a flippant comment is made. A moment when a decision is about to be made. A moment when an erroneous idea goes unchallenged. A moment when your voice is needed. When you have the answer. When your wisdom and insight is what’s missing. And in that moment, you have a choice to make. The choice to use your voice, to shift the tone, to change the direction, to move your body, to lean in, to respond. Whether you do, and how you do will have an impact. And it sends a message to every single person who watches you.
Leadership doesn’t depend on followers. Sometimes you’re on your own. And that’s ok. Because when you’re leading, the path may not be a popular one. You may not even know where the path will go, but you trust yourself enough to know you’re on the right one.
If leadership opportunities are there for the taking, what is stopping you from rising to the occasion?
Whatever your reason for holding back, I’d like to help you decide to lead. I am issuing you your very own License to Lead.
Click here to customize your own license. Just make a copy and add your picture and name.
You now have permission to lead. What will you do with it?
Special thanks to Doreen Marvin for inspiring this message at the 2nd annual WE Lead Summit.