As women we often don’t see ourselves as leaders. And yet we are.
And Drew Dudley, in his book This is Day One: A Practical Guide to Leadership that Matters, would concur. He challenges our narrow definition of leadership, stating that our perception is that leadership is determined by money, titles and influence.
He argues that “leaders aren’t identified by their jobs, they’re identified by how they choose to do them. When you do your job and live your life in a way that impacts others positively, you’re a leader – whether your job is commanding an aircraft carrier or getting someone’s child home safely after school.”
Taking that premise, he suggests that we can start working on our leadership one day at a time, and he comes up with questions to prompt us into action. His first step is to get us to identify a key value that we wish to embody every day.
When he gave the challenge to a group of his students, they chose the word “impact.” Every day they wanted to have a positive impact on someone else’s life. As an example of how we can do this, Dudley shares the story of how one day when he was lining up for groceries, he noticed that the cashier was efficiently getting through the long line up, despite the impatient and often rude treatment she received from the other customers.
When it came to his turn, he asked her which candies she would recommend – chocolates or caramels, and then proceeded to purchase her choice and give them to her, with praise about how she’d handled the long line ups.
She was truly touched by his gesture, and he was sure that when she went home, it would be his kind words she would remember, not all the negative comments made by others. Now that is about having a positive impact.
What I like about this example is that it doesn’t have to be a big deal to make a difference in someone’s day. A kind word, a generous action or a thoughtful comment can positively impact someone else… someone you know or a complete stranger. And it feels good.
With thought and intention, we could all do this. And if we miss a day, don’t worry. There is always tomorrow… another day.
I am going to try this. How about you? Let me know what happens.
Company of Women
I have had an eclectic career from running non-profit organizations and being editor of a national magazine, to working for government on women’s issues. In 2003 I launched Company of Women, an organization that supports women in business. A prolific blogger, I also write for the Huffington Post, and several other online publications. I am the author of five books on women and entrepreneurship, and co-author of Good Enough. Embrace who you are. Unleash your brilliance. which is available on amazon.ca In June, 2016 I launched Full Circle Publishing offering one-stop services to get your words out into the world.