I was in a bookstore last week searching for a gift for a friend’s birthday when I wandered through the leadership and self help section. I walked past title after title touting leadership advice- all from great leaders who have certainly proven their expertise in the field. Looking at all of the authors and titles, I found myself conceptualizing leadership as a future state of being, as if I should be preparing myself for a time in my life, maybe 10 years down the road, when I would truly be considered a leader.
Then, I remembered the words of Drew Dudley- one of my favorite TED speakers:
“As long as we make leadership something bigger than us, we give ourselves an excuse not to expect it every day from ourselves and each other.”
In 2011 Dudley gave a talk called Everyday Leadership at TEDx Toronto, and his simple point has always stuck with me. We should expect great acts of leadership from ourselves every day. If we continually operate under the assumption that leadership is a future tense description, we can lull ourselves into being less than extraordinary.
Take a few moment (6 minutes to be exact) and watch the whole talk below. How can you practice and acknowledge everyday leadership this week?