Leadership, a word with a tremendous amount of baggage and sometimes totally misused and labeled without regard for the core meaning of the word. For many years when I was younger I had the word leadership tied up with a position or rank and only to do with work. Today, my definition spans out to reflect years of being in positions of management, but also peer to peer interactions that has molded my definition into what it is today.
I want to suggest that Leadership can be a way of being in the world that can affect every aspect of your life! I have discovered that when I apply the principles of leadership to all areas of my life, the result is one of consistent upward trajectory that feels super delicious!
Here are three of my favorite ways to be a Leader. (And trust me there are many more!)
1. Do the basic little things others are often not willing to do.
I remember being 18 years old and working at the YMCA and watching my executive director walk the hallways and fitness floor and stopping, at every speck, paper, or gum rapper and picking it up along the way. Often carrying a rag with him to dust off equipment as he walked through the cardio floor. I will never forget that, he role modeled for me the life skill of taking responsibility to caring for anything you see out of place. To this day, I have a habit of picking up bits of paper or trash I see that are out of place. Be a good steward of what you are given.
2. Be more interested in what you can do for someone than what you can do for yourself. I have had countless leaders model this to me and I hang on to it as one of my favorite ways to strive for being in the world. In all of my relationships, striving to help instead of take away leaving each circumstance better than I found it. The most impactful lessons I have learned are when I am engaged in service and helping others.
3. Let life move you, feel your feelings and the impact of life. I realize that I am not in my 50’s, which is the age that I iconicized as knowing “a lot,” however, I have experienced a lot of life and what I appreciate the most about my experiences is that I felt them, moved with them and learned. Being a student of life and never reaching the point of arrival (which there is no arrival, spoiler alert!) has been the most life altering choices I have made. At no point will I be done learning, done shedding tears over sadness felt, butterflies in my tummy before a big talk. My favorite way to be a leader is model full participation in life!
When evaluating what you are planning for 2016 and the goals you have, I urge you to add a layer of Leadership to each goal. By doing so the potential to be impacted and impact others is so rewarding! Remember that Leadership has little to do with the job tittle you have at work and a lot to do with how you make your bed, what you do when you are alone and how you talk to strangers. It is a way of life.
Lindsey Rainwater is a consultant and coach to the fitness and wellness industry. She specializes in business development and leadership. Currently she is working with the Fitmarc Team helping Health Club owners all over the south central region of the united states propel their business forward via group exercise solutions. For more information about Lindsey, follow her @lindseyrainh2o, all content posted at www.lindseyrainh2o.com