Am I really (not) cut out to be a leader?
This is actually not the question I get often, at least not in that form. This is a doubt that is lurking in some hidden corner of brilliant minds of so many girls and women I had opportunity to meat during last ten years.
It seems like this doubt is imprinted in minds from earliest age, like it is part of default settings. We are conditioned by our environments to appear in a certain standard in order to be recognized as leaders, executives, business owners. There is that image, whether we want to admit it or not, that is imprinted in our minds that leaders are highly energetic, charismatic, highly intelligent individuals. And, of course, you surely do not want to play in a team with someone who is struggling to get out of the bed every morning, feels like the world's injustice is on her shoulder or has challenges to speak about complex subjects in less than 3 minutes. And, there are enough lion-like leaders and business world is a true battlefield so why making room for weaker players. Let's leave those who have capacity to play it, right?
Wrong. Nicely envisioned, but totally delusional. If history Magistra Vitae est, we might as well learn few things about leadership profile of those who were leading the world, countries, biggest industries, revolutions, wars and those who are doing it now. It is may 2020 and we are still so far from equality, equity, union, understanding of different, acceptance. People are still murdered because of the color of their skin, women are still stigmatized and abused based on their gender, children still have no opportunities for education based on being “minority”, animals are still killed to become decoration on a wall, forests are disappearing because of shopping malls, people all over the world are dying because of pharmaceutical war. So, do you still think that we have right people (those who are cut out to be) as leaders?
Now, let's take a look at those individuals that are actually making a real difference, I am not talking about those who are running the world, I am talking about athletes, musicians, comedians, artists, rebels, those who are taking care of people in distress, those who raise their voice and talk about taboo topics, that are saving animals and nature. In every area of life, in every industry, you can find one person that is really making a difference, just look closely. And, aren't they true leaders? Don't they lead by example, walk the bumpy road first, show the way, inspire, motivate, encourage, empower, give the knowledge and experience…
Of course they are. Now, tell me this – aren't they those emphatic, maybe highly sensitive individuals that feel like the world's burden is on their shoulder? You think that they do not cry, have no identity crisis, have no dark thoughts, don't feel lonely, don't do their best and fail sometimes? Do you really think that girl that gets shot and then speaks in front of the UN is thinking or overthinking if she is really cut out to be a change maker?
Well, here is the truth, you know that they do have a lot day to day struggles and you admire them fort that reason exactly. And then you look yourself in a mirror and you say Yes, but... But, that is different, corporate world is something else, Silicon Valley is something else, business is something else. And, you have been told you are too emotional, too sensitive, you talk too much, you write too long emails, you are not focused on one thing, you are don't quite get the rule of the game.
And, this is it. This is the moment I am telling you to fuck the rules. This is the moment you look yourself in a mirror and say I am going to change the rules and this will completely change the game.
Forget about everything you have ever been told about how inadequate or weak for A game you are. I am here to tell you the only and ultimate truth – if you have this notion, this idea, this urge, this desire inside of you – to be the leader, change maker or revolutionist – this is bigger than you. This is your calling, your purpose, you are here to live in alignment to that. Because, there is nothing in your head and in your mind and heart and gut that will appear just for the sake of making a joke.
You are not born to have a desire, idea and capacity to be the leader, but shit, you didn't get the energy, voice, intelligence needed. It doesn't work this way. You are born for that calling because the world need leaders like you. Yes, like you, compassionate, emotional, people oriented.
So, if you have woke up this morning with a headache and puffy eyes from crying all night… If you were doing so well recently, but dark thoughts broke you down last night… If you had this vision, but this morning all seems like you were fooling yourself… If you can't look at other people success and not to think of your own poor energy… If you need three meditation, coffee, water, sun, and 16 hours of sleep just to go through the day… If you have all these dreams about changing the world, but in reality you cannot go on your friend's birthday because your past traumas are creeping out from the shadow…. Then you might doubt… You might look at all those successful leaders that are working 16 hours a day, not recharging… You might ask yourself am I cut out to be a leader and what the hell was I thinking about…
I don't have the magic wand that I sell in my mentorship programs that will help you to be “more” resilient and not to feel that punch in the stomach every time you read some child is abducted or when your old pains show up their ugly face or when you think to just keep driving yourself into that wall (yes, I know, this is not a suitable topic, right and could never possible admit something like this to anyone at your office...).
But what I do have is this message for you – I hear you, I know you and I am telling you that you are not alone. There are so many leaders that feel like you from time to time and there are so many who started healing and feeling more powerful from the moment they stepped into their leadership shoes. You, the moment you decide to be that leader, the one who makes a difference, your pains start working for you and not against you. Because, you know people, you know the dark, you know the light, you have a vision. Taking leadership role is one of the most powerful decisions you can make and transformation that goes along is incredible strong.
Remember, if you have this idea, it is because you are supposed to act on it. It is not there just to torture you. You are not given the gift of empathy so that you feel all the misery. You are given everything that so you can leverage it. Because, the world needs compassionate leaders. Now!.
The more of us understand that Being heroes just for one day – makes all the difference in the world. And then you repeat it.
However your evening was dark, in the morning there is light. And it is the ultimate truth. You don't doubt that. It is the circle of life, and it is just the way it is supposed to be. Embrace your dark and when you see the light – act.
I will continue to address this topic and to shine some light on how to compete and thrive in that competitive world and avoid burn out, but for now, please, take time to really honor this truth. That you are cut out for this. If yo are ready to act on it now, I am one email away.
Your Leadership Mentor,
Leadership is a lifestyle, not a job title.