For most of us, a leader is someone who always goes above and beyond, who takes grand actions with the intention of changing the world, and who is distinguished for doing extraordinary things that hardly anyone else can do. Most of us don’t consider ourselves to be leaders because we’ve created this illusion that being a leader is not easily attainable, that we are too mundane, or that we must work our way up to becoming a leader one day.
But what if we redefined the complicated notion of leadership, and instead defined it as something attainable on a daily basis? Leadership shouldn’t be a characteristic reserved for the smartest or boldest people. Leadership can be attained every day by recognizing the values you want to be defined by, and planning and executing those values through your intentions and actions. If you want to be defined by values such as integrity, honesty, and respect, you can achieve this every day through this simple action:
Treat people in a way that makes them feel better off after interacting with you.
This doesn’t mean you have to be a saint, but doing something nice for someone else, whether it’s giving a compliment, acknowledging tenacity, or even just listening and understanding, could change a person’s entire day and henceforth impact their actions and behavior.
So how exactly does being nice to people make you a leader? Showing compassion and kindness with the people you interact with, no matter who it is or the magnitude of the interaction, will make you a leader in the way you handle yourself and in the way you regard others. It seems simple, but how often do you dismiss opportunities to improve someone’s day through your interaction with them? And how often do you actively seek opportunities to elevate your interaction with others?
Picture this: A barista hard at work, hustling to take care of the customers in his line. They’re under pressure, the line is growing, and customers are huffing and puffing because of the wait. Consider how the barista would feel if when you stepped up to place your order, told him he was doing a phenomenal job, and encouraged him to keep going. It’s just a few words, but the kindness in the action makes you a leader in the way you treat others. A simple question like “How is your day?” or a compliment and recognition of hard work can empower you to turn someone’s day around and be an everyday leader while helping you feel like you are in charge of your own life. Our world needs more leaders- leadership shouldn’t be limited to extraordinary actions, but rather ingrained in everyone’s daily interactions.
Born in Ukraine and raised in Chicago, Iryna takes pride in her Ukrainian roots. She loves writing, cooking (and eating) all kinds of food, pursuing new fitness trends, and exploring all things related to personal growth. She hopes this blog brings you value in one way or another and helps you to become a better version of you.