Let's get this straight at the outset?
Leadership skills can be found in their droves on an Internet search. Lists? dozen of them; and if you want to define yourself and tick the box by a pre-set, ready made standard based on what 'experts' in business and the church think, then go right ahead and look because I am not going to reproduce it here and encourage you to pigeon-hole yourself.
Face facts: the guy in the pin-stripe suit and the one with the dog collar are not the only leaders. What's more their ways, their definitions and their lists are not the only way to lead.
In your lifetime you've been exposed to all kinds of 'leaders in their day'. Take your teachers; yes, the ones who made you tuck your shirt in, do your tie up, remove your make up, ear rings and often your smile?
Take your parents ? doing their best as the leaders of your home and your childhood ? using what they had and what they knew to bring you up with good morals and good values so you would become an acceptable member of society who could get a good job and find a good spouse and go on to be a good reflection of them. Maybe they were kind and nurturing, maybe they were overbearing torturers and heavy-handed disciplinarians?.
Then take your peers: the leaders, the tall kids in the playground who developed first and got all the attraction from the opposite sex. The first couple to make out, the first guy to have a car, the first one to leave and get a job and reach the heady-height of leader for five minutes?
And I guess what sends us on those searches to pigeonhole ourselves is the hope that we are as good or better than that standard. Maybe it will help us if we can be recognised as someone or something by a business leader's standard or a spiritual leader's values.
And this is okay, but remember that the standard of the wealthy and the clean have often been brought into question.
Perhaps the standard of the person who walks their dog, chatting to the mums and the kids on their way to the school bus, or the parent who can ignore the tantrum of their child or the lady who helps you settle into a new community by throwing a party for you, are the type of leaders we might want to consider being.
Real leadership is not about striving to meet an external standard so that tick can be put in boxes under your name. Real leadership is about living with purpose ? finding, defining and using your birth given gifts and bringing them to the foreground in a distinctive way that changes, enhances and glorifies the greater good.
Now that's real leadership!
Good luck on your journey
Jo Ball x
Coach & Founder, Unstoppable Life
At Unstoppable Life, Jo Ball (LCA, Dip, NLP) is developing the next generation of leaders who have been in the chrysalis. These people are discovering and defining their life purpose. Join Jo's Fr>ee newsletter now at Unstoppable Life's home page to discover a mass of information other leaders in chrysalis are acting upon. http://www.unstoppablelife.com