Don’t let them tell you you’re not a leader

February 9, 2011


I am a leader. When I’m truly empowered to lead, to make decisions. When I’m trusted.

When I’m not really empowered, I’m paralyzed. When leading means: we’ll let you go until you make a decision that’s different from the one we would have made. When it’s not leading but guessing – trying to guess what the real leader would do. I’m a corporate version of Kramer hosting the fake MovieFone: “Why don’t you just tell me the decision you want me to make.”

These corporate experiences have made me question my leadership abilities. I had decided that I didn’t want to be a leader or a follower. Relative independence was my goal. “Leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone” was my best-case scenario. And, for me, in a corporate structure, maybe it is. But there are so many options outside the corporate world. No need to carry my false ideas about leadership with me.

Through personal experiences and the work I’m doing with my career consultant, I see that I am a leader. I can set a strategy and develop criteria and make quick decisions given available information. I can delegate and correct course as needed. What’s more, I’m comfortable and confident and I want the role.

It has been energizing to discover that my struggles with leadership are a product of an ill-fitting environment, not something within myself.



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3 Comments on “Don’t let them tell you you’re not a leader”

  1. Debbie Says:

    You lead with grace and style. That’s why you’re authentic!


  2. Phil Pohl Says:

    It is nice to see you contemplating such things…most people don’t. The world is starved for real leadership- people who can make decisions and work a plan while lifting or pushing others up. I’ve heard it said that if you have caused someone to believe they can do more or be more than they thought they could be, then you are a leader. Way to go!


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