#UgBlogWeek Day 2: A Leadership Mentality
I won’t even lie, I am already stressed out by this #UgBlogWeek. Not only because it involves writing for 7 consecutive days, but also because the topics I have chosen to write about under the theme are ‘serious’ topics.
My understanding about leadership has gradually evolved over the last 3 – 5 years. Before that, I thought a leader was for lack of a better definition, someone with a ‘big’ title. So think along the lines of president, minister, chairperson, you get the picture.
Which may or may not be true. But that is not the point here.
The point is that one doesn’t simply wake up and become a leader. It may happen from time to time, but that is the exception, not the rule.
I did Entrepreneurship at A Level, and at one point we studied ‘leadership’ as a topic. There are many theories and debates about whether leaders are born or made. In summary, is someone born into leadership or do they grow into leadership?
My definition of leadership doesn’t fit in one sentence, and that’s probably because my understanding of leadership is not one thing. The one thing that my brain agrees on is that leadership is a mentality, ergo a journey.
Before you can run for office, how do you prepare for it? And office in this case is anything from presidency to pencil collector/class monitor. The preparation may range from how you physically present yourself, to the knowledge/skills you acquire for said position. The bigger question though is, do you believe you are qualified to run for office?
Every other day, there is a friend/colleague who you have to ‘convince’ to do something that they want to do, are obviously qualified for, but for some reason, they don’t see themselves deserving. A leadership mentality not only addresses this, but also makes us more aware of our communities, and its associated advantages.
I could obviously go round and round in circles, but I won’t. Here are a few thoughts I have on creating a leadership mentality;
One of the biggest things about leadership is taking responsibility. Is it acknowledging that your life is not going where it should be, and that you are responsible for that and the steps to changing it? Is it knowing that your government has failed you but that you also have a role that you play in effecting change? Is it how you handle your duties in the workplace?
Not Being Afraid Of Failure
In school, there was ALWAYS that one kid who put up their hand even when they weren’t sure of the answer. It’s not that they weren’t afraid of giving the wrong answer, it was because they knew that the world wouldn’t end if they gave the wrong answer. This is obviously not to encourage speaking rubbish at any opportunity that presents itself, but to remind us that failure is a part of life. There’s many sayings around success and failure, and the one thing they have in common is that for every x success, there are x number of failures. If you are afraid of failing, you are not living your life to full capacity.
Being a leader a lot of the time involves knowing both the what and the why. Whether it is a report template that you are given at work, find out why the report is written that way. What does the organization hope to achieve from the report? What inspired the template? In learning to question everything, we teach ourselves to think, and this makes it possible for us to have opinions of our own.
Try New Things
It is very easy to get into the business of maintaining the status quo, but this only holds you back. All the advancements that we enjoy today are possible because someone dared to think outside the box, to try something new.
The most important thing about a leadership mentality is knowing that you don’t need a ‘big’ title to be a leader. There is always an opportunity to step up, to do better, and to inspire others with how we lead our lives, wherever we are.
I’d like to leave you with 3 questions;
- What is your understanding of leadership?
- Is a leadership mentality relevant to improving our communities?
- How can we create a leadership mentality?