We spend a lot of time talking about leadership as if we are searching for a formula for success. I believe leadership is much more complicated than this. When asked to define leadership we have a tendency to reference individuals such as Martin Luther King, Steve Jobs, and many others. Think about these two examples and how very different these individuals were. Martin Luther King displayed a calm spirit during the fiercest storms and Steve Jobs was hot tempered and unpredictable.
I spent much of my time trying to be a leader that I greatly admired. Put simply, I tried to mimic him because I believed that leadership was somehow embodied in his charisma and personality and it didn’t work. It was like wearing a suit that is fitted for another person. I’m unique. You are unique. We all carry something special that is different from everyone else in the world. There will never be another Martin Luther King, Steve Jobs, or you.
I think a lot about how I spend my time. I don’t want to waste my life trying to be someone else, but to walk in my true identity. I’ve been reflecting on who I think of when I think of a leader? I’m starting to think of myself. This is difficult because I doubt myself more than any leader I’ve ever followed. I don’t believe I’m alone in this fear that I rarely admit. In fact, as I talk to other leaders I find we all experience insecurities such as this. We aren’t comfortable being us so we spend a lot of time and energy trying to be someone else. This undermines every aspect of our leadership. I challenge you to begin thinking of yourself when you think of a leader because others already do.