5 Thoughts on Leadership… & an invitation

I get asked frequently to talk about Leadership ; My beliefs about Leadership; my advice on Leadership; My experience with Leadership; So I wanted to kick off the New Year sharing those thoughts with you. When you see me in person, you get to hear the stories behind these beliefs!

The influence each of us has and the potential to inspire greatness and brilliance in others is something more poweful than we can possibly imagine.

When we tap into that potential in ourselves to bring out the brilliance in others, we elevate everyone’s game. At home, at work and in life.

Leadership is a Gift Word: Leadership is a word at its most powerful when someone ELSE “gifts” you the word. When you say that you are a Leader, you are likely talking about your position as a leader, or your experience as a leader. When someone else talks about you as a great leader, or someone who shows great leadership, it connects at a much deeper level.

Leadership is not about what you do, it’s about WHO YOU ARE: When you conduct yourself in such a way in ALL of your relationships that makes people want to gift you that word of Leader, it speaks to your actions, your character, your ability to be present, your ability to inspire, innovate, assist , suppport. Not required that you have the “title” of Leader to be capable of all these things

Leaders are not born, they are grown: Babies don’t just “become” Leaders. At some point, their life experiences brought out an invitation to step up and practice what would later become known as great leadership qualities. So as parents, caregiver, teachers, mentors, family, friends, bosses… how can we expose those who we come into contact with to situations where they have the ability to “REACH” and “TEACH”

Leadership is about humility: Contrary to what you might think, Leadership is about the ABSENCE of EGO. A leader is OK with those around him/her knowing more than them; is very comfortable being curious and doesn’t fear looking silly for not knowing an answer; can be extroverted or introverted but always, always has the intention of setting others up for success and taking some spotlight.

Leadership is equally powerful in settings of ONE or one million. The effect of great Leadership is maginfied when a large group is exposed to it at its best, but is equally potent for a single person to experience. If you believe, as I do that there is brilliance within all of us, then one person inspired or transformed by being exposed to great leadership had profound impact on the world.

My invitation to you today is to pass this along to two people. Pause and think of someone who has been a great leader for you- craft a short email telling them HOW they have impacted you.. and tell them this post reminded you of them . Then, think of someone you know who has great  potential as a leader; could be a teenager, or a colleague, or a new manager, anyone who you truly believe is already showing signs of great leadership; craft an email and tell them what you believe about them and their potential, and send them this link.

It would delight me to think of a little flurry of emails connecting individuals with the theme of LEADERSHIP to kick off 2011! Let’s make it happen!


  1. Russell Cullingworth on January 11, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Thanks for the thoughts Christine. My quick comment is that often we notice the extroverted leaders and give them a lot of attention – we call them charismatic and they own the spotlight – but watch for those introverted leaders who quietly inspire and influence others – the Nelson Mandela’s of the world. There is something beautiful about someone who can lead without you noticing that you are following.

    • christine on January 16, 2011 at 9:17 pm

      Thanks Russell – you are absolutely right. Each of us has brilliance within us and the ability to be a great leader- and often in the same leader you will find conditions exist for that person to exhibit that “extroverted” side… often we are a myriad of styles even within one leader- could be very extroverted at home yet quiet at work- or vice versa…. its about finding the spaces we feel compelled and inspired and capable to lead in that make a difference for others!

  2. Jen on January 11, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Very well said Christine. I also like how you stress the importance of telling people when you think they are great leaders, when they have inspired you, when they have taught you. We are surrounded by amazing people, each and every day, why not share a compliment.

  3. christine on January 16, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    We don;t tell each other enough when we are inspired by that person. AND by the way, you are one of those people Jen who inspires me as a leader! http://var/www/vhosts/christinemcleod.ca/everydayleader.ca.challengebychoice.ca Jen you are an amazing coach and athlete and person!

  4. Angela Schaefers on January 30, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Good post Christine!

    I agree with Russell, there are many leaders who are not so obvious. I too teach, speak & coach on leadership. I encourage people to recognize their own leadership abilities and to shape those skills. I believe that each of us should be a leader in our various roles; as parents, part of our community, our extended family etc.

    Good suggestion to share the post with a leader who has inspired us most and an aspiring leader! I have learned a great deal from various leaders and as mentioned believe we all have leadership potential. I will share the post with many!

    I look forward to hearing you speak on leadership and hearing the nuggets of wisdom you have learned along your journey!

  5. Erica on January 30, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    I love the bullet point re: humility. Once it “clicks” within, a whole new leader is born!