Each of us has a sphere of influence. If you are a mom, you have influence over you children. If you are an employee, you have influence over your co-workers. If you are a friend, you have influence over your friends. What we do with our influence separates the true “leaders” from the “followers.”
I have been thinking about leadership lately. We often tend to think of leaders as having status, title or position. That is not always the case. In fact some of the most influential people in life are in the background and behind the scenes. They are impacting their neighborhoods, schools and workplaces in their everyday work and relationships. Their influence is not because of their position or paycheck. They have influence because of their life. People esteem and respect them because they lead with their life.
It is easy to follow. We know how to do that. It is not so easy to lead. When you lead, you have to be willing to march to a different beat. Sometimes that means doing things that are not popular, but you do it because it is the right thing to do. When you lead with your life, you are driven more by principles than being “liked.”
When you lead with your life, you treat people with respect and honor even when you don’t feel like it. When you lead with your life, you realize that all your choices matter both privately and publicly. When you lead with your life, you realize that the people in connection with you and in your care matter and so does their well-being.
In life, each of us has influence. We lead and we follow. The question becomes, when we lead, how do we lead, and more importantly, how important is that we lead with our life?