I've begun to wonder what defines an individual. Is it a job position? Money? Status? I'd like to think that it is none of these things but unfortunately we've fallen into this way of thinking that makes all three off the previously listed things a definition of who we are. How sad is it that we think, well he isn't the CEO so he must not be a leader. Now granted, many people who find success in their careers are indeed strong leaders but it wasn't their job description that made them that way. It was passion, drive, commitment, and service.
I love to note all of the different ways we categorize leaders as well. She's a servant leader or he's a transformational leader. Last I checked, all that matters is that you have learned to lead. There has been a challenge and you've stood up to it. There was a need so you answered it. You don't need to be in the news or to have fame and fortune follow, all you need is to do what's right.
We live in a world where it's so easy to get caught up in gossip. Right now, somewhere, someone is talking about you. Brutal? Yes. True? Absolutely. But right now, somewhere, someone is starving or dealing with being diagnosed with a terminal illness. If that doesn't put things in perspective then maybe you should reevaluate your priorities.
It's so easy to say all of the right things. Know your audience and be sure to please them. But life isn't a stage. There is no Emmy for stirring the pot to keep it interesting. Words, just like actions, can hurt. But we're only human, saying and doing the wrong things are expected, right?
Here's a thought, don't befriend someone to gain status. Befriend them because you actually care. Question things when they don't add up. Stand strong in your beliefs but listen to others who may have differing views. Be compassionate to others. Refuse to settle. You don't need money, status, or a title to do these things. And at the end of the day, in my book, you've found what it means to be a leader.