This is part 10 in a 30-day series of articles entitled The Power of One – Making an Intentional Impact.
This course is for bloggers, to help you find your blog theme and voice, or for anyone who wants to journal around the theme of why you are here and what your purpose is on this earth. How are you currently making an impact, and how can you make your light shine brighter?
The first blog is here Why what you do matters
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One of the most profound areas of contribution is through leadership. Whether you are an army of one or commanding legions, someone has to take the lead.
“We can’t all be heroes, because someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.”Will Rogers
It may seem this way sometimes, but in fact, we are all leaders to some extent or another. You may lead your family, lead a group activity, or lead a team at work. You might lead the way in new innovation, or in teaching new generations the cultures of the past. In one way or another, you are a leader.
The biggest influence you have as a leader is the example you set for others. People pay less attention to what you say, and more attention to what you do. By showing an example, you are making an impact all the time.
Think back on your school and work history. Who were the most influential teachers and bosses that you’ve had?
Some may have influenced you by showing you what you don’t want to be like as a leader, but the ones that made the biggest impact on you were probably the teachers and managers who brought out the best in you and taught you through their own example.
Think back on some of those inspirational people – what exactly was it they did or said that really inspired you? It’s quite likely that some of the things that you remember would have been quite trivial at the time. Those people probably thought of themselves as quite ordinary and didn’t realise that they had a huge influence just by going about their day to day lives
What are some character traits of a great leader?
- Understanding of others’ weaknesses and problems
- Genuine care for the welfare of the people they lead
What skills can great leaders teach through their example?
- Tactical skills
- Problem solving
- Mastery of a craft
- The skill of leadership and management
How do great leaders lead through their example?
- Modelling appropriate behaviour
- Teaching complex concepts
- Success in their field
- Walking the walk
- Championing their cause
- Listening to others, considering all opinions and continually learning themselves
Your example has great power to shape whatever situation you find yourself in. You have the power to influence those looking to you in ways you can’t imagine. You can help build someone’s character, teach them a skill, and encourage their self-worth just by doing what you do best.
A great rule of thumb to keep in mind is that we are never unobserved. The world is always responding to our presence. Do your best to act from a place of integrity, and think about your influence wherever you are.
Do what you can to be mindful of the fact that someone, somewhere is looking up to you and being influenced by your behaviour. Even in the smallest of ways, your solitary existence is making an important impact on the world.
Whether you are the leader of a Fortune 500 company or the commander of your household, you are a leader and have influence wherever you go. Be a good example to those looking up to you, and walk with confidence knowing that you are helping to mould and shape those you lead as they watch you.