Are you willing to take the risk?
Looking at leadership as an activity or an action and not the position that is held there is inherent risk surrounding the activities or actions when exercising leadership. Sometimes it is taking the risk to come out of the comfort zone that we have created for ourselves, sticking our neck out. Sometimes it is about showing our vulnerabilities in order to make progress on an issue we care about. Sometimes it is about stepping up and taking on roles that need to be filled in order to make things happen.
Many of us take risks everyday, we just may not recognize when we exercise leadership. Take a serious look at your day. If you notice risks you are willing to take, are you exercising leadership? Do you go through the day, just to get done with your work and go home?
I know I take a risk every week when I write and submit this article for the newspapers. I am not the best writer and probably do not use proper grammar, but I believe I have something to share and I hope that the articles will resonate with some to take action, so I take the risk. I risk criticism from those who may not think the way that I do. I take the risk every time I share something on a personal level, but I believe sharing personal experiences makes it real but it also show some vulnerabilities.
I am always fascinated by some comments I get while in the middle of the process for selecting the new class of Leadership Butler. Just the other day, someone told me they weren't willing to do any more than they are doing now and didn't feel going through the Leadership Butler program was something they wanted to do. Honestly, I am okay with that, it leaves room for those who want to learn how they can become more involved in their community's progress. I am always curious, though, why people do not want to continue to learn. To take the risk of knowing more than they do now.
Taking risks while exercising leadership also means we have to examine our role in the process. On an issue, what role do we play and how do we contribute to the issue. Our group is creating an event for Leadership Butler's 25th year, how do we get more Leadership Butler Alums to take part in the planning and implementation? When I truly look at the role that I play, and I am totally honest, I know I am not the best delegator. I need to work with the chairman to prepare a list of things for the Alums to do. The risks are - will they follow through with the tasks? If they don't, who will?
Page 2 of 2 - Exercising leadership is risky...it is also rewarding when things work. It is challenging and I guarantee that something will be learned in the process.
Let us know what you think about this or other articles. Contact Becky Wolfe, Executive Director of Leadership Butler at email@example.com.