Leaders Don’t Get Templates: The Journey of Authentic Leadership

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Some are born to lead while many are called to follow. Rest assured, the roles will reverse, and those being groomed to lead will need to step into their new roles as leaders. One thing’s certain: both roles contribute equally to the interweavings of life and impact everyone, regardless of their awareness of their roles.

Somewhere, someone is making a decision that will eventually affect you. We live in a world and Universe where it’s inevitable. No man is an island, as some like to think.At this time in our history, we are gearing up to vote in the United States for a new president. Of course, there will be those who choose not to vote because they feel they don’t have a dog in the fight.

In other words, they don’t have someone they want to be in office, someone they can relate to, share similar values with, or feel will have their best interest in mind. For that, I understand and can relate to, considering the history of politics in general. Then there are those who won’t vote due to the belief that their vote won’t matter because the system is rigged, someone else is pulling strings, corruption, etc.

What happened to everyone pulling together and enforcing accountability? Better yet, why have so many lost their way and perception of their ability to co-create an improved world? Since when in the history of mankind and the atrocities that have been overcome in this country and around the world has “doing nothing” made matters better? Since when has “not choosing” or “giving up” ever gotten anyone anywhere?

I think that’s the biggest okey-doke there is! To be convinced that doing nothing and not making a difference to let your voice be heard or to “not try” is the way to go. If that’s the case, I will quote a friends who once said to me, “Had I no hope, I would die.” There is ALWAYS hope and there will always be change! You decide whether you’ll be part of creating the change you want or on the receiving end of change you don’t want.

Doing nothing is a choice. Giving up is a choice. Making an excuse why you’re opting out is a choice. Even pretending that there’s nothing you can do is a choice. Accept that you don’t know what to do, but don’t say there’s nothing you can do and no reason for you to try. If nothing else, be a leader in your life and how your decisions impact you for the long term. Make those executive decisions with courage and confidence, but don’t ever stop trying or give up.

In today’s world, despite its challenges and hardships, we are in a place to make more of a difference than ever before. That’s what leaders do—they look for solutions and ways to continue to move forward, not backward. And some of you are true leaders who have been gifted with talents, skills, and abilities to do just that—lead! For some of you visionaries, cutting-edge way-makers, and forward-thinking progressives, you may experience much resistance from those who cannot see nor comprehend the platform from which your imagination plays.

You may experience a lack of support, criticism, judgment, or even condemnation. This can create frustration, second-guessing, and at times feelings of isolation. This doesn’t mean that’s a sign from above to quit nor does it mean that leading is an  ready-mix formula where you follow someone else’s model and it works perfectly. No, real leaders don’t get templates. They also know that other successful models out there may not work the same for them.

Yes, we can be inspired and even moved by others, but only you can create the unique experience for yourself or bring forth the unique talents and skills you have because you are one of a kind. Is leadership calling you and do you have a vision you want to share with the world? I encourage you to find out if you don’t know already. If you discover that you do, know that your vision most certainly will not be understood in its infancy by most. Be OK with that and don’t let it stop you from continuing.

Understand this, it’s not always intended for everyone to get it or required that they like it or approve. Nonetheless, it is required that you stick to it and continue to follow your inner guidance, which will lead you to your ultimate victory. Be reminded in the moments of frustration that you are creating possibilities and imminent realities—just stay the course. Even for you, the way may not always be crystal clear, but it’s imperative that you stay the course.

Relax in the knowing that sometimes you’re not supposed to know all the details upfront, but you will get what you need to know at the right time. Stay determined, steadfast, and optimistic with your vision and never lean in towards negativity.

It’s not for you to seek the approval of others so that your vision may be realized. It’s for you to bring life to your vision so that others can be inspired to visualize.

This, my friend, is but one of the beautiful trickle-down effects of great leaders.

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