Monday, June 30, 2008

Leadership in the Shadows

After talking about what great leadership qualities we have, like resourcefulness and relationships, I think it is prudent to point out that these qualities are not exactly the favorites in our culture.  

What I mean is that as a society we tend to admire leaders who are bold and glamorous.  We tune our ear to the wealthy, the popular, the celebrity, and the talented.  Unfortunately we tend to tune out everyone else.  Nevermind that more often than not the most influential people in our lives are not these flashy types.  They are average people who have taken up the challenge to lead and set and example for others to follow.

I bring this up because I want to be popular.  Seriously.  When I think about the great potential women have to lead in our communities, and how the world really needs us, I start to get ahead of myself.  I picture headlines and public praise and lots of attention.  I suppose that it is natural to want to be noticed by others.  However, I usually end up giving myself a good dose of reality.  

The bottom line is that community leadership is rarely glamorous.  I love it when I hear a report of women taking creative action, or read an inspiring article in a magazine.  But those reports and articles are too few and far between in my opinion.  Much more common is attention paid elsewhere, like the tabloids.  

Should this dissuade me from promoting leadership?  Should it dissuade us from being proud of our potential and stepping into the leadership we're capable of?  Of course not.  It just might not come with a lot of goodies on the side.  And I can be okay with that.  Maybe even someday the culture will catch up....

On another note, I want to wish you a happy 4th tomorrow (if you're reading from another country, I suppose you aren't celebrating a three-day weekend...).  Keep checking in to read more about "rooted" leadership in the days to come.  And stay tuned for next week when the conversation shifts to economics.  (are you rolling your eyes already?  I promise--it won't be boring.)  Plus, look forward to some new resources coming soon.  I'll be posting links to them in the next several days.

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