Could I be a leader? Or am I a natural follower?

Okay… So this whole blogging from my Palm Pilot On the ferry is looking to be promising. :^)

Well, I spend the bulk of today attending a leadership course set up thtrough my work. I wasn't sure if it was something I really wanted to attend but it was presented to us as something where attendence was not necessarily mandatory but was strongly reccommended… um… same thing, right? Either way, I decided to go with an open mind hoping that I might actually learn something from this pseudo-mandatory seminar away from my normal pixel-pushing day.

One of the first things they asked us to do was draw or write examples of leadership in our personal lives… this was way more difficult for me than I thought it was going to be and I knew at this point today was going to be a challenge for me. I realised that I don't necessarily look at leadership in the same way as everyone as else. People ay my table started drawing and writing immediately… whereas I spent the first half of the alloted time just staring at the paper… this was not like me.

The entire day ended being about how we view ourselves as leaders and what we could do to improve our skills as leaders. I discovered that I have some strange complex where I have great difficulty seeing myself as a leader. Why should anyone want to follow me?

I struggled with this for the entire day. Some of my collegues pointed out that I have, in my life, been in situations where I have had to take leadership roles: I used to be a teacher, I am a parent, I am a co-captian of my soccer team… and for some reason this scared me a bit. I feel like I truely want to be someone who is capabable of being a leader but in so many situations I feel like a natural follower: I felt only able to make new friends at college along side someone else who seemed to be a natural at attracting people, I've never been entirely comfortable being co-capitain of my soccer team, I don't really feel like I should be a leader in my family…

I was rather quiet for most of the seminar…

By the end of the day I felt exhausted. I have a tendancy to over-internalize in situations like this and it can be often draining. I did, however, come to some sort of quasi-resolution to my conundrum… Although I would like to be able to see myself as someone who could be a leader, in the traditional sense (visionary, commuicator, commandor…), I find that I am much more comfortable (at least for now) with the idea of being someone who leads by example, someone who can be seen as a positive role model, someone who inspires.

Still… I know I can follow… but could I really be a leader?

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  1. It goes without saying that you've lead me in many ways. You don't know how much you impact people babe. 🙂

  2. I'm with Jared: "leader" doesn't necessarily mean being a commander. Leading by example can be as powerful if not moreso than being the boss. And I think you are a very powerful person in that regard. Really. I mean it. People are drawn to you not because you offer them a roadmap but because you're a beacon.Just be who you are and guarenteed you'll have a positive influence. You already are!

  3. Thanks guys… I think/know you’re right… just yesterday ended up being waaay more self-reflection-inducing than i could have ever imagined. This will settle I’m sure. Even having posted it I already feel better with where I am.I think I’m growing as person as I write this. :^)

  4. I'm with the other guys. Good leaders inspire greatness and like semblance said, lead by example. You've definitely inspired me in a number of ways, and I'm not just saying that 'cause the others did. 🙂

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