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What does the word “leadership” mean to you?

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September blows in freshness. For me, this year’s new beginnings include the honor of speaking at a day-long leadership conference. I’m especially excited because of my colleague Steve Gamlin, who I consider a famous (locally, anyhow) speaker will be doing his motivational, practical wizardry as well. Yippee!

Leadership: when you hear this word, what enters your mind? Leadership seems to be somewhat of a buzzword of late. “Lead yourself first.” “We are all leaders.” “Leadership for Women.” “Real leadership.” What does all of this mean?

For me, leadership means accessing what you have and using it to the best of your ability. It means being your best self, sharing yourself with others, and seeking ways to be an even better best self. To that end, I’ll be sharing a talk I’m calling “The Power is with You- Plug it in.”

The power is with you. Hold that for a moment. What happens in the opposite mindset, when we feel powerless? Do we have our next great and bold thought or plan? Do we do our best work? Of course not. The feeling of powerlessness spirals down, resulting in some combination of sadness, anger, anxiety, and possibly depression.

When the opposite is true, we feel powerFUL. We get the “world is our oyster” feeling. We sit and stand up straight. We smile. We laugh. We become more attractive. Words come out of our mouths at just the right time. We get our next great idea. Things seem easy.

Knowing that the power is with us does not mean that we think we know it all. Quite often, embodying this knowledge leads us to expand our knowledge and skill base further. This then puts us in a circle of other leaders, committed to learning and growing. Friendships grow. Leadership circles form.

So lead, but lead from the inside out. Outside influences can light our inner fire, but our inner fire is the light of leadership.

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