On the first day of shelter in place, I asked myself a series of questions.
- What does connection look like in a time of social distancing?
- How can I use this time to stretch and grow?
- How will I advocate for things I believe in and step up as a visible model of positive leadership?
- How can I use my voice more powerfully now and in the future?
These questions led me to formulate and begin to share my thoughts about leadership and the capacity and power in all of us. As we have seen, courageous and compassionate leadership is not always the norm, but I believe it’s exactly what we need. The good news: this type of leadership, everyday leadership as I call it, isn’t dependent on a fancy title or a position of authority.
Everyday leadership isn’t dependent on a fancy title or a position of authority.
I have been an educator for 25 years. In that time, I have been a classroom teacher, a principal, a school founder, and an executive director. Each time my title changed, I gained some degree of positional power and greater institutional responsibility. That said, I have learned that positional power and everyday leadership are not at all the same. Students often offer the best examples of everyday leadership, and the best teachers exhibit everyday leadership each time they step into the classroom.
Within each of us, there is a personal, unique and beautiful source of power. The key to everyday leadership is recognizing, cultivating and exercising this power. Everyday leadership simply requires knowing that you can make a difference by being yourself and stepping up.