Leadership is an act and not a position
This is written with personal insights on leadership as well as from the Shishukunj Bethak with Nick Williams on 26th September 2019 where six core ideas were shared on Be Inspired. Be Inspiring. Be Yourself. Includes recording of the event and slides..
During the December of 2000 I was in leadership role as President of the Young Jains charity organisation and had travelled to India on holiday. I remember distinctly seeing a poster in a shop that resonated with me and had a lasting impact. The poster had a quote which read:
Leadership is an act not a position.
This message really hit home and stuck with me.
The first habit in one of my favourite books, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Dr Stephen Covey is the habit “Be Proactive”, this is about leadership and being responsible.
The book also explains the difference between management and leadership using a ladder metaphor.
Management is about making progress up the ladder whether that ladder is career, relationships, business, learning, purpose or personal growth. Leadership is about making sure the ladder is leaning against the right wall - your mission, values, purpose, goals.
Leadership is about doing the right things and management about doing things right.
Other books that I have read on leadership are Covey’s “Principle Centred Leadership”, Robin Sharma’s “The Leader With No Title” and “Dare - Accepting the Challenge of Trusting Leadership” by Scott Weiss. All great reads.
The focus of the Shishukunj event was on Spiritual Leadership. After greeting with Namaste, we reminded everyone that the greeting means we are bowing to the higher self, reminding us we are a Soul.
Most Shishukunj events start with the prayer “ Aasatyo Mahati….”, my interpretation and translation (which is not fully correct I am sure but works for me) of this is :
Dear Lord, lead me from what is not true to the truth,
Dear Lord, lead me from darkness to the light,
Lead me from death to peace,
Lead me to Divinity
Nick Williams an author, coach, thought leader, past director of Alternative and has spirituality at the heart of everything he does as he shares about inspiration, creativity, leadership and challenges such as resistance to these. September 2019 is the celebration of 20 years of his first of many books, the classic book “The Work We We Born To Do”. He is a humble, creative, discipline, devoted , grateful and inspiring individual. The event related to his latest book “Be Inspired. Be Inspiring, Be Yourself”. Some of the ideas that were shared were:
Offering Leadership Vs Leadership as a position where offering leadership is steeped in love and leadership as a position is often driven from fear.
It takes courage to show up
Best leaders have been on a journey of self leadership and lead with empathy and compassion. Self leadership is authentic, powerful and professional
Leadership is about drawing the best out in yourself and help others to do the same
“We are the ones we have been waiting for”
Primary purpose of leadership is to inspire
Inspiration has a different quality to motivation
Six core ideas:
Assume your best qualities, gifts and abilities are already within you. Some are already manifest, many remain dormant are are waiting to be drawn forth. They do pre-exist so it less about self improvement and more about self cultivation. Always an invitation to blossom.
Seek to be inspired and inspiring, come from a place of personal inspiration at least some of the time. Stoke the fires of inspiration, source of inspiration never goes away. What will inspire you next? The most power relationship: Being a willing collaborator. Whatis your next chapter? How will you inspire yourself next?
Understand that inspiration has an “evil twin” that is called resistance. Resistance - all our ego’s petty responses to the amazing power, ideas and creative impulse of your Soul.
Make friends with your vulnerability. Become comfortable with your discomfort. As we step outside the comfort zone we grow.
Show Up! Even in small but bold and brave ways. The world is poorer when our resistance wins. It is about sharing the light with others and not taking the spotlight.
Commission yourself. Initiate. Take responsibility.
What are your next steps of being an inspired leader? We are all leaders whether we have a leadership position or not as we may have roles of parent, family head, team lead, teacher, community leader and world citizen.
If you would like signed copies of Nick’s books get in touch.
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The next one will be about my recent crisis of being a victim of identity theft fraud, losing more than 7 figures, how I resolved and steps to protect yourself.
Added Value Resources
The recording of the event.
The slides used at event.
Here is a TED talk I love about every day leadership
About the Author
Shaileen Shah is a Happiness Coach, Speaker and Trainer. Previously having been in finance technology for the investment banking arm of RBS during the RBS takeover of Natwest, the RBS takeover of ABN Ambro and the financial crisis he has experienced the challenges brought by uncertainty, change and stress. He is certified in The Science of Happiness and shares through Happy Life Habits. Happy Life Habits Positively Impacts Happiness & Well Being Levels by creatively and uniquely combining Personal Development + The Science of Happiness + Spirituality. A business for Good; supporting the UNs Sustainable Development Goals. For more information see HappyLifeHabits.co.uk.