The writing is on the wall. Senseless wars, self-absorbed employees, greedy bosses, financial woes and social ills…some days, it feels like there are more problems than solutions, and no leaders stepping up to solve them.
How will the human race survive at this rate?
Is there any hope left for those of us who want a better life, and want our leaders to give it to us?
The Leadership Vacuum
I don’t know about you, but there seems to be a black hole that has sucked many otherwise competent and well-meaning leaders into a parallel dimension, where power and greed have a hold on them. It doesn’t matter if they’ve had a good upbringing, went to good schools or have peers who do good in their community. The lure of untold wealth and immeasurable influence has exploded their egos and given them a sense of invincibility.
I say this with no judgement, only with a sense of sadness for what is and what could be in its place. Perhaps I’m just a little jaded and overwhelmed by what’s in the news these days…Middle Eastern dictators clinging to what little remains of their power (and killing thousands of civilians in the process), gun violence in the US without any immediate & practical solution in sight, CEOs who fall from grace etc.
With leadership ‘role models’ like these, who needs enemies?
Call me a cockeyed optimist. I refuse to admit defeat, and I believe there is a better way.
And it starts with each and every one of us.
“When nobody’s leading, look in the mirror.” – Maya Mathias Click To Tweet!
How To Fill The Leadership Void
1. What Angers Your Soul?
Think back to a time when you got worked up about a lack of leadership. It could be at work, in your community or your country. What fired you up?
And if it DIDN’T ignite any strong feelings in you, why not? Are you content to live the rest of your life standing for…nothing? What do you want your legacy to be when you die? Again, there’s no judgement either way. I’m just asking the question.
2. What Do You Value About It?
We get upset when our core values are threatened or challenged. For example, a close friend has a very strong sense of justice and hates seeing disadvantaged communities being bullied even further. It moves him first to rage, then to helpless tears.
As for me, I get mad when people are all talk and no action. I champion and cheer on anyone who has the courage to stand up for what they believe is true or the right thing to do.
When your soul is angered, what value buttons does it push in you?
3. What Can You Do?
We all have the capacity to challenge and change the status quo. There is no need to be a martyr, or an activist, if you don’t want to be. And in the workplace, we all have more influence than we believe. Our coworkers are largely rational human beings who want to do and be their best at work. If you’re in a position to change their work environment so that they CAN give their best, even the simplest gestures go a long way.
And to take this to a broader, more inspiring context, check out these 4 leadership lessons from the US Founding Fathers. Keeping these principles in mind will help you on your path to powerful leadership:
- The courage of convictions
- The sanctity of sacrifice
- The fulfillment of faith
- The power of purpose
Like this article? Has it inspired you to see how you can better lead yourself and others? How can you use the 3-step method above to start filling the leadership void? Share your thoughts & comments below.