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What is being a leader all about?

I've spent a lot of time in my life reflecting about what I believe being a leader is all about.

Here’s my truth:

1---> If you’re a leader, you JUST LEAD. You can’t stop it. It’s what you were born to do. It’s what your soul knows you must do. Even when you think you can’t, your inner voice screams “LEAD!” Lead now.

2---> Being a leader is about trusting YOUR gut, YOUR intuition, YOUR inner voice, YOUR whatever you want to call it.

You’re hearing/feeling things for a reason.

Don’t silence the noise.

Trust YOURSELF (yes, your OWN guts—not your husband’s/wife’s, your co-workers, your parents, your neighbors, your _______________.).

Trust now.

3---> Leaders should spend 80% of their time listening.

Leaders do all they can to truly hear others…at the level of their soul.

It’s been said that the desire to be heard is almost as important as the desire to feel LOVE. Listening is not a beginner skill. It takes work to master.

So, listen…to people (their emotions, their stories, their silent pleas for help), to animals (horses, birds, your dog, whatever), to nature (what’s the wind calling out to you?), and most importantly, to your GUT. Listening = love. Listen now. Communication is code for leadership.

4---> Leaders take action every day to make life BETTER–and the desire and devotion to improve things never stops.

I listened to a powerful TED talk today about a school principle named Linda Cliatt-Wayman, who’d turned a “low-performing and persistently dangerous” school in North Philadelphia around in one, short year. To make this happen, she shared her go to question for staff: “So what….now, what?” So what…that 100% of the kids in this school are in poverty, so what….that attendance is crazy low…so what that…blah, blah, blah. “So what. Now, what?” What are YOU going to do about it?