I’ve just joined a Women’s Leadership Circle and it is causing me to evaluate what being a leader means to me as a woman in our culture at this time in my life and career? We may not even be aware we are being leaders because the social definitions are so narrow. Our culture defines leadership in terms of being in charge of a group or an organization, or it may be used to refer to an individual who is considered the best of the best (i.e., the leader in their field).
In my definition, a leader is an individual who is called to share their experience, skills, wisdom, creativity, and soul with others to create value for a community that empowers and serves the whole. We may be called to do this for only a moment or an entire lifetime.
As women we are often moved to lead in unexpected ways…some are recognized others not. I’ve personally struggle with this dichotomy. For years, I was a traditional leader in management. I experienced the social pressure and euphoria of climbing the corporate ladder, only to find the view was not all that great from the top, because it did not feed my soul.
As a mother, I lead my daughter by teaching and mentoring her, which is wonderful, challenging, complex...and sometimes invisible. My intention is to see her self actualize and walk the path of her highest good. Do I do that perfectly? Hell no! But, that is always my intention. Then sometimes she is the leader, teaching me where and how I need to mother her better.
Recently, I’ve been asking myself how am I called to lead now on my current path as an executive and personal coach? What skills, wisdom and passion must I share with others? I am still figuring this out! I do know that I am blessed to witness the vulnerability, growing awareness and transformation of the women I work with, each one beautiful, powerful and wise in her own right. All of them are true leaders in many areas; their energy reaching out to the larger community and rippling out to whole world. Take a moment and ponder where have you been a leader in your life and where are you being called to lead now?