True leaders pay it forward.
This is the premise of what leadership is supposed to be and supposed to do. When we talk about leadership let’s get one thing clear. Leadership is a big word and it means a lot of things to a lot of people. In fact it means so little to some people that they think it only means one thing. And that is you have a title – A title that grants you the privilege of being a leader. Leadership has nothing to do with work. It has nothing to do with you working for company or having people work for you. Leadership is not about work at all. It’s about the business of living. It’s about the business of living your life in a way that displays certain characteristics that attracts people to follow you.
Whether you’re a musician an artist a corporate executive or a sports player or whatever it is that you’re doing, if you display and exhibit the characteristics that draw people in to want to be in your presence, or want to follow your lead you are a leader. You can be leader amongst moms, you can be a leader amongst your church and the people within your church, and you can be a leader in your social group. You have a group that meets every Friday to play cards? Your character and the characteristics that you exhibit will determine whether or not you have great leadership.
Leadership has characteristics and the characteristics that leaders have – true leaders have – real leaders have – invite people. Invite people to join, invite people to be a part of. Not invite people to follow and not invite people to do certain things. But just invite people to join. Join in.
I once saw a video of a man at a concert dancing by himself on the side of a hill. He did not wave to his friends and say “Hey come join me.” He did not say “Hey look at me – you want to do this too, don’t you?” The characteristics that he displayed were those of authenticity; those of vulnerability; those of confidence; those of courage; those of commitment to dancing on the side of that hill.
Those characteristics – the Courage the Confidence the Commitment the Vulnerability – those were the characteristics that invited people in, without him having to wave them on. Those were the characteristics that got one other young man to stand up run over and join him in the dance.
And by welcoming the second player (the second leader) they both begin to exhibit those same characteristics of just being vulnerable and courageous confident and just doing their thing authentically. And this of course led to other people being drawn in to join those two leaders. And within a matter of minutes there were, I would venture to say, hundreds of people that were dancing on the side of that hill.
All because of the first leader exhibiting characteristics that invited people to join.
What characteristics are you exhibiting? What characteristics do you exhibit day to day that invite people to join in your mission – in your movement – and the things that you are holding dear and near to your heart that are important to you? What are the characteristics that you display and exhibit every day that allow people to see and want to be a part of it?
Real leaders pay it forward! And real leaders display a leadership that’s inviting.
Paying it forward means just helping others. Simple! It doesn’t mean necessarily donating to a charity or volunteering. It could mean that, yes. Paying it forward could be just sharing wisdom, mentorship, coaching, guidance, support, providing resources – anything that’s available to the leader that they can give becomes a pay it forward opportunity.
Leaders have access to so many valuable things. Leaders have access to resources, money, connections, networking, other people who have resources, money, wisdom, knowledge, information, techniques, skills. Leaders have access to all of those things.
And guess what! You have access to all those things.
So you have the opportunity to become and to be a True Leader a Real Leader. But if you’re not paying it forward, if you’re not giving, then you’re not displaying one of the key characteristics that leaders must display. And that is the characteristic of being giving. Giving is a characteristic that must also be a part of the leader’s repertoire. Real leaders pay it forward. It’s wrapped up in what leadership is. It’s wrapped up in what giving is. And how leadership is a part of that. And how you cannot be a true leader unless you are doing that.
If this brief audio has resonated with you in any way – take time to hit the thumbs-up button. Yes, LIKE it or SHARE it or discuss it with someone else. How are you paying it forward today? I’d like to know. leave me a note. Leave me your name and email and I’ll get back to you. And maybe we can discuss it. That inner voice you keep hearing that’s asking you to do more for other people, to take a leadership role. That voice is never going to go away. It might be time to stop suppressing it. If you need help doing that, I can certainly be there to support you in getting your meaningful passion project off the ground. And you can look forward to more meaningful insights like this from me very soon. Until then – make yourself a great day. We’ll talk again soon. Take care.
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