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Leadership is

May 17, 2013

I remember when I was in High School, I thought leaders were some special group that special people got invited to be a part of or voted into, like honor society or student council.

And then, when I was in college, I believed that leadership was a degree you earned, like an MBA or PhD.

And when I started my career, I thought ‘leader’ was a job title that would one day be printed on my business card, a synonym for director or vice president or CEO.

But today, after a lot of life experience, after having kids, and starting a business…after nurturing good employees and struggling with difficult ones…after dealing with tough clients and a tougher economy…and after sharing my stories and hearing those of a lot of other leaders, my view of what leadership is…is a whole lot different.

Today, I know that being a leader is not something I am just at my job or just with my family or just on the boards I choose to sit on.

Being a leader is not something you are Monday through Friday or 9 to 5. Being a leader is not something you are only when you’re around certain people in certain situations.

Being a leader is a choice we make, the way we choose to be every day. Every single day. In every interaction with the people in our lives, and even when no one is watching.

I think what I’ve really learned is that leadership isn’t a destination, but a journey. A journey of trying to be the best version of ourselves that we can be. A journey of awareness and thoughtfulness. A journey of setting goals and sharing vision. A journey in which we passionately pursue the things that interest us, passionately fight for the things that are important to us, and passionately work for the people and the organizations that need us.

Leadership is doing these things with humility and sincerity and in a way that invites other people to join us on our journey.

And leadership is about being thankful, truly thankful for those who support us, who inspire us, and encourage us.

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