Here’s my email to leaders in Reno County from Monday, 2/4:
Happy “Day-After-Super-Bowl”. Hope everyone’s doing well. We’re in a bit of a series on our Monday emails. Here’s a quick review:
We’ve been looking at the KLC Civic Leadership Principles:
1) Leadership is an activity, not a position.
2) Anyone can lead, anytime, anywhere.
Today, I want to remind you of principle #3: “It starts with you and must engage others.”
Keeping in mind that leadership is “mobilizing people to difficult work” and authority is “providing comfort, order and direction” we can see that acts of leadership begin with us. It starts with you, that is, acts of leadership begin with you making a conscious choice to engage. It’s like flipping a switch. It might be choosing to “raise the heat” over an uncomfortable issue or choosing to disengage when one of your triggers have been tripped. But, leadership begins with you making a conscious choice.
And, leadership engages others. Leadership isn’t you climbing up on Pride Rock and roaring out orders for the masses (yes, another Disney film reference for those of you without small children). Leadership involves others. Typically, we “lead” by surrounding ourselves with people who will agree with us and proceeding accordingly. But, leadership might mean we engage others by seeking out the unusual voices, strive to understand the factions on a dilemma or what people might lose if a direction is pursued. Leadership engages others and this is what makes it such hard work. It’d be easy if we just had to lead ourselves. But throw others in the mix and things get a little complicated.
Today, then, remember that civic leadership “starts with you and must engage others.” You can step out into acts of leadership and make a difference today. So, what are you waiting for?