This beautiful comment from Julia Katsivo in response to the post “Do You Know Why You Lead?” inspired what I am about to share…
“For me the answer would be that it’s my nature. As I walk, I nudge, pick-up, lift up, lift off, slap backs and give hugs to those who need a little hope to find the way on their own road again.”
Leadership is a big deal. It must be, right? There are literally thousands, if not millions, of people opining about it every day, myself included. Most of our discussions about leadership are wound around complex topics like psychology, engagement and authenticity. We wrestle with the language and actions that produce the outcomes we attribute to effective leadership. We talk in theories. We applaud stories of leaders who influence sweeping changes and positively impact business or society and try to understand the techniques that made them a success.
What struck me when I read Julia’s comment was how simple leadership can be. And how easy it is for us to be so focused on all that “important” stuff that we miss the “little big things” that are right in front of us.
A sincere smile.
A simple thank you.
A kind word given freely.
A shoulder to lean on.
A promise kept.
A little laughter.
Being present to see these opportunities and act on them can be a challenge when there is so much to do. So many distractions and so many demands. We have to keep ourselves open…we have to be aware. These small acts of kindness and connection are where leadership is fully expressed. This is how we influence the lives of the people we serve. This is how we love as we lead.
Be intentional about the little things and the big things will follow. We spend significant time and effort planning our strategy, making our lists, following up on projects and tasks. Are you making time to lend a hand? To appreciate and value the people you come in contact with every day? Do you train your mind to listen to your heart so that you see these moments even in the midst of the daily demands you face as a leader? If you are, I want to encourage you that this is some of the most important work you will ever do. If you are not, I want to challenge you to open up to a new way of thinking and acting.
Because when it comes to leadership…the little things are the big things.
Please share your thoughts, stories and ideas for how to make this a habit, or even a spiritual practice in our leadership.
Grabbing and adding some good related posts as I find them – feel free to suggest.