In a time of such upheaval and transformation in the world, we have never needed true, just, honest leaders more.
There’s been a lot of talk about who the leaders are, and what a leader looks like, acts like, and believes in, but I’m here to challenge all of that.
In fact – I’m not going to give you any rules about how to be a leader like everyone else, but instead, walk you through how to show up as a leader in YOUR life.
Because once you lead yourself well, you can begin seeing yourself as a leader and making an impact in the world right where you are– no matter WHAT you do.
Leading yourself first
As we’ve seen in these last few years, the ‘old’ way of doing things isn’t working anymore – and leadership is included in that.
The principles of the old leadership paradigm are a recipe for burnout, exhaustion and misalignment in your life, leadership, and impact. What you were once taught about putting everyone before yourself in order to lead well is actually the exact opposite of what I teach my leadership clients.
Your leadership starts in your own life, by leading yourself well FIRST. And to do that? It starts with defining what matters most – your priorities.
Your priorities are your roadmap to showing up as a leader in your own life AND they ensure that you are leading in the world in integrity yourself.
Leading in alignment with what matters most (to you!)
I want you to sit down and write down basically everything and anything that is important to you. And there are no limits here! It can be your dog, your favorite coffee shop, getting that workout in, or your partner…write them all down!
Once you have your list, start to group these things into similar categories.
For example, if you have moving your body, healthy foods and time to meditate written down, you can combine these into the category ‘health and well-being’.
Once you have your categories – I want you to narrow them down to THREE.
The reason I teach my leadership clients to narrow down to three priorities is to minimize any overwhelm and create a clear focus (because let’s be honest – you’re busy and the simpler the better!).
Now that you know your top three priorities – not only do you now have a reference for how you show up for yourself and lead in your life every day, but a way to make clearer, more confident decisions.
When the pandemic hit, I was still a practicing nurse and was faced with the decision to become a travel COVID nurse, or work in my business full time. At the time, I could not figure out what I wanted to do, but everyone around me was telling me what I SHOULD do.
When it came time to move forward with the travel nurse position, I used my priorities as a guide in order to make the decision and WOOF am I glad I did!
My first priority was my health and well-being – something I knew would definitely take a hit if I were to move away from my husband and work with patients I was unfamiliar with in a global pandemic.
My second priority was my husband – and taking the travel role was definitely going to strain our new marriage if I was away for 4 months.
And lastly – my impact on the world is my third priority – and that was what I did in my business. I knew if I accepted the travel nurse role, I would certainly drop the ball with my clients.
So, I said no to the travel nurse role with confidence and showed up strong as a leader in my life.
Knowing my priorities made this decision clear, simple, and I felt confident making it – and that’s what knowing what matters most to you will help you feel too.
Now that you know what matters most to you, you are able to show up as a leader in your life no matter what the circumstance.
The revolutionary question to ask yourself daily
Showing up as a leader in your life requires you to have the energetic capacity to lead at any time. But how do you make sure that’s a reality?
You ask yourself one revolutionary question at the start of every day: “What do I need today?”
Here’s the tough love truth – if you aren’t leading yourself well, you aren’t leading others well.
And leading yourself well means that you show up for you, first, and unapologetically. By asking yourself what you need every day, you are able to show up and act accordingly. These acts of self-leadership may look like setting boundaries, taking time to rest, or spending time with your loved ones BEFORE you go and lead out in the world.
Despite what you may have been taught, burnout is not a badge of honor or a requirement to lead – so it’s time you start leading yourself well FIRST.
Give yourself the credit you deserve
It’s one thing to show up as a leader in your life, but it’s revolutionary to truly SEE yourself as a leader (and if you’re reading this you definitely are). Leadership is not dependent on what you do for a living, where you’re from, what you look like, or how you dress – a true leader leads in alignment with their values & lifts others up right where they are.
If you’re struggling to view yourself as a leader, I urge you to make an authority list.
What are some accomplishments, accolades, or situations where you’ve helped someone? How are you impacting others in your daily life? Write this as if someone is writing about you in a news article and feel it.
I truly believe that it is the everyday leader who is meant to change the world. It’s not the billionaire old guy, the real estate mogul, or the family who’s been in politics that is going to change our world for the better.
It’s the stay-at-home mom who is raising her kids to be kind, empathetic humans.
It’s the nurse who comforts the dying and cries with their family members.
It’s the teacher enriching the lives of children every day by showing up and doing her job.
It’s the entrepreneur who dedicates their life to changing lives through their work.
You have SO much power within you to impact and lead those around you – no matter what your title, education, background, or career – you are a leader when you decide you are. The change you know is possible in the world? It starts with you because you’re you.