I have been having conversations lately – with clients, with colleagues, with friends – around the concept and intention of leadership.
More importantly our often discomfort and sensitivity to being a leader, and even more deeply, to understand what it even means to be a leader, to hold a position of leadership, and to step into it.
Leadership is a word most of us recognize. We see it, we might read about or study it, we can identify what it means.
We see it being used as a way to call us forward on our path.
But what is leadership really?
A perspective . . .
There has been a large portion of my life where I had an awareness that there was something I was here to do.
And when I say here I mean earth.
There is a purpose to my life and my “job” has been to figure out what that is.
I was sharing this weekend with a woman who reached out to me to look for a space being held for her.
I didn’t seek out being a “leader” or more accurately an emerging leader in my industry. I don’t have an ambition of being in the spotlight, or being recognized or having fame.
And that isn’t leadership.
Leadership is a responsibility. It is an honoring and a stake we put in the ground that says what I feel I am meant to be a messenger for, what is calling me forward to be a beacon of. Where purpose is asking me to show up, I show up.
Leadership is also not about popularity, or being liked, and most definitely not about being comfortable.
Leadership is about edges, putting our own personal discomfort aside, doing our inner work, coming back to aligning ourselves to the bigger why of our work and having the courage to put ourselves forward for that instead of continuing to hide because we don’t want to be seen.
For years I hid behind my horses, and probably behind my purpose. I made it about the containers I held, leaving myself out of it.
Because it was uncomfortable. Because the responsibility sometimes felt heavy. Because I wanted people to like me. I didn’t want my clients to be uncomfortable, and because I didn’t want to be seen.
I wanted to be safe and I was afraid of creating waves. As someone who probably identifies herself more often to a peacekeeper than a leader, I didn’t want to be a force in the world. I wanted to create a peaceful and purposeful space for myself.
I didn’t seek out leadership. Leadership sought out me.
And I fought it for a long time.
Because that wasn’t who I am.
Until I became awakened to something.
Leadership isn’t just about me.
I have had moments where I have stood in my field with my horses, looking around me seeing the shifts in my herd. My horses come to me needing homes, a second purpose, an out from a potential heartbreaking ending to their life. And I give it to them. And in these moments when I watch my horses, I get it.
This isn’t just about me…
And I will tell you something…
Any discomfort I feel about being in the “spotlight” or taking a position of leadership or speaking a tone or a message that might create waves...
Is worth it.
Something I often say to my clients:
Your job is not to make people comfortable. That is not why they come to you.
They are seeking transformation, illumination, clarity, confidence, change.
They want something different, and they are seeking you out to hold it for them.
Keeping them comfortable or being afraid of creating waves is not serving them and it is not what you do.
Being a leader means we recognize that the discomfort leads to change, to shifting and a greater alignment to a greater vision.
Leadership is an opportunity for us to create a stake for a greater impact and ripple effect of purpose and transformation for our world.
It is bravery and congruency and, in some ways, I experience leadership as a connection to our higher power, our inner wisdom and a deeper knowing within ourselves that we bring out into the world.
And for those that are seeking it and that resonates to it, it becomes a powerful space that then awakens them to something deeper. Which is what they want.
Leadership is not about power, or fortune. It is not about celebrity or popularity.
It is about understanding our role in a greater conversation of change that we are meant to be a part of.
Whether it is awakening the human consciousness, or advocating for a better world for our future generations, or a more ethical and humane treatment of animals.
It is bigger than you.
It also requires you.
Most of the people I work with are not those that seek out leadership positions but they feel called to hold space for something... a purpose and a calling.
Their struggle is they don’t appreciate how necessary their perspective, their voice and what I call their medicine is to that conversation or shift that they feel called to.
And so another perspective of leadership is our ability to acknowledge the importance of our voice and our message and our responsibility to bring it out into a greater conversation.
It isn’t about us being comfortable. It is about us being able to put aside our own personal fears and doubts about ourselves, and understanding our role into something greater.
And that is uncomfortable.
But we are not called to step forward for no reason.
It is not pointless that we feel compelled, or passionate, or purposeful about certain things.
And those callings are also not given to us for us to hoard or keep within ourselves because we are too afraid to be out there.
I know in the moments I feel most afraid, where there is terror often associated with where I am being asked or nudged to show up, where discomfort shadows me, that this is the path I am meant to step forward on.
That leadership is a purpose and a space of honoring the purpose of my life and ripple effect of that.
We need to get used to this….
We are here for something greater than ourselves, and our presence is important and necessary for what we are called to be a part of.
If you are reading this...
You may not feel ready, or certain. You most likely are feeling uncomfortable and wishing you could continue to stay hidden.
You also know you can’t.
The part of you that knows you can’t this is the part of you to allow to lead for this moment.
To gain a deeper perspective of leadership, to remind yourself there is purpose and necessity to you and then take a big dose of courage and get out there.
Write the post, share the story, create the offering, write the book, be courageous and remember.
This isn’t just about you...
And this isn’t about comfort.
This is about purpose.