To me the absolute definition of leadership is sharing a powerful message and in so doing influencing the way others view and interpret the world.
Speaking up IS leadership because standing up and saying something important is not something everyone chooses to do. It takes guts. It takes courage. It takes a willingness to be personally vulnerable. And it takes a genuine desire to make the world a better place.
It’s also not comfortable - for anyone.
Speaking up challenges us. It challenges the speaker and the hearer. It’s uncomfortble by definition because you’re genuinely challenging the status quo.
Not everyone may be able to hear it and sit with it. In fact it may be very unpopular. People may actively resist or even protest. And that’s okay.
That IS leadership. That IS blazing new trails. That IS what it takes to genuinely make a difference. You need to have the courage to stand out from the crowd.
Not 'toeing the party line' as they say... That’s not leadership. That’s herd mentality. There’s no shortage of people following the herd. You don’t make a difference through following the HERD.
What we need is more leaders. Not more white collar, corner office folks, but genuine everyday leaders. People who are willing to stand up, share their perspective and be HEARD.
I’ve been surrounded by incredible leaders my whole life. And you know what, they may not have looked like what you’d expect. They were normal every day people. My mother. My father. My grandmother. My colleagues. My husband.
These people weren’t always popular and let’s be frank, they didn’t care about popularity. But they had the courage of their convictions. And they were respected and looked up to by the people that mattered.
They spoke their mind. They called people out when they said something wrong. They spread a message of good when things were looking grim. They reached out to those who needed their help. And they listened deeply for new and better ways of doing things.
They stood for something.
They were willing to say the hard stuff while others bit their tongue. They were willing to talk about what previously would have been swept under the rug. They were less concerned with their own popularity and instead focused on revealing the uncomfortable truths of life and helping our world become a better, warmer and more welcoming place.
As a young person I cringed at this sort of leadership. I was genuinely fearful of saying something which may put you offside.
But now I thrive on it because I know it’s OUR job.
To think outside the box. To look for new, innovative and better ways of doing things. To help others reflect on their hidden beliefs and assumptions. And to find ways of making a GENUINE difference in the world rather than standing idly by.
This is why I do the work I do. To help women feel confident. To help them connect with their authentic selves, views, values and beliefs. To encourage them to genuinely stand up and be heard, rather than follow the herd. And support them to make their own unique and powerful difference in the world.
Are you standing up for what you believe in even when it’s not popular? Would you like to have the courage to stand up and be HEARD? Would you like to make your own unique difference in the world? If so, I would love to help you! Send me a PM and let’s chat more about your personal, life and leadership goals.
Photo: The first leader in my life - my incredible Mum! ❤️