Where leadership begins

It happened again. The first time was in Los Angeles at Ali Brown’s event. This time it was at ABBA Mania: I noticed that the people who were having the most fun were the ones in the front row. They danced more, they sang louder and they were whooping and leaping in joyful abandon.

The further you got from the stage, the quieter the cheers, the less enthusiastic the hip gyrations, and the more disdainful and recalcitrant the looks.

The best place in the whole room? The most joy was definitely coming from the stage. Whether it was Ali teaching information marketing or the 70s retro singers belting out tunes, whoever was on stage was fully present, totally committed, oozing passion and self-belief. I know I feel most connected and purposeful when I am up front and centre teaching and sharing.

However I know that on stage is where you also feel completely vulnerable. There is nowhere to run and hide – you are completely exposed. You might incite ridicule or thunderous applause – both are possible. I have no idea how those ABBA singers do it – if I was wearing their skin tight, electric blue lycra bodysuit, all I would do is worry about sweat stains and camel toe. Somehow they overcome these fears and let the music speak through them, possible wardrobe malfunctions and all.

The biggest rewards come from taking that risk – not of wearing lycra, but of stepping on to the stage and exposing your passion – along with your weaknesses – in all its glory.

This is the function of a leader – stepping up and speaking your tr uth, no matter the potential critics. One of my SAGE colleagues Sharon said it straight when she quoted, “the higher you climb the ladder, the more your butt hangs out.”

But leadership is more than just being the big loud voice, or the person out in front of the calvary leading the charge.

Leadership is a profoundly personal matter. It’s about identifying your true passion and vision, and connecting authentically with your purpose with courage and determination.

And so I ask you, are you leading?

Are you focused each day on your passion and vision? Are you raising your standards and expectations of what is possible for you? Are you generous with your love and appreciation? Are you encouraging others to step on to their stage? Do you give yourself wild applause for simply having a go? Have you forgiven those who have hurt you? Have you decided to live without regrets and negativity? Do you love yourself wildly and unconditionally? Do you give your best at everything you do? Are peace and leading a joyful life your first priorities?

>Leadership starts here: it moves from the inside out. So when you lead a life that inspires you first, you will then be able to draw people alongside for a common purpose that benefits all.

To shine light in dark corners, you must first be the light.

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