Leading through Modeling
In life, we play many different roles. Whether it be a parent, teacher, friend, those around us may look to us for guidance. As a mother to two boys, one of the most important jobs in my life is to guide them to be strong independent individuals, live with compassion, and learn to forgive. I myself have made my own mistakes in the process, and being that my sons are fourteen years apart in age, one can argue that the younger one has more of an advantage. Quite honestly, the teaching never stops, and both have had very unique experiences. As the saying goes, "it's not what you say, but what you do."
The greatest leaders in life model what they want to teach. If you want compassion, you must be compassionate. If you want forgiveness, you must forgive. If you want peace, the peace begins within you.
It is disturbing to watch the news today and see all the unrest that is occurring throughout our nation. People from all walks of life are living in anger, fear, and hatred. Turn on the television anytime of the day and all you see and hear is negativity spreading like wildfire. It makes me wonder, what kind of world are my sons going to have to face in the future? It's enough to make any parent uneasy.
The best lesson I can give my sons is to become great leaders and authentic to their own selves. In doing so, I must be a great leader myself as it is through my actions that they learn the best. Living in a high frequency allows a peaceful state of mind and clarity to face the challenges that we face. To live within a higher energy, we must first have self-respect. Without it, we attract lower energies. What is the environment you surround yourself in? Who are the people you spend the most of your time with? Do you feel happy, a state of contentment, inspired, creative, or do you feel down, victimized, and self-pity? What energy are you sending and attracting to the world?
To be a great leader, one must be authentic. When you are authentic to your true self, others are able to see your genuineness, and it is through this they develop trust in you. Even when you lack certain strengths, but are honest about them, people will respect you. A great leader is not fearful of facing their own mistake, but rather learns from it.
Sometimes being a great leader, one must make unpopular decisions. This falls back to authenticity. One of the biggest lessons I teach my sons are not to be followers just to feel included or popular, but rather follow their own instinct and passion. Even though some of their personal decisions may not be what I would choose, I have learned to respect them and allow them to follow their own path. Just to clarify, these are not decisions that would hurt them in any way. As a parent, I have the responsibility to care and watch out for their own well-being. I can write an entire book on my experiences on parenting!
Some attributes of a great leader include: patience, being a good listener (listen to understand, not to respond), integrity, compassion, empathy, being accountable for one's own actions, and positivity. Practice these qualities in your own life and see the positive impact you make on those around you.
Keep in mind that when keeping positive in a negative situation, people may look at you as naive. On the contrary, it is an element of being a great leader. One of my many favorite books, The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor writes about this very premise and how those who lead with a positive mindset throughout difficult situations, achieve the most success.
All of these attributes lead back to developing a strong Emotional Intelligence. Remember, the more you give of yourself through great leadership, the more abundance you will have in your life.