Sunday, September 20, 2015

Are you a Good Leader?

I'm always talking about leading by example, but what do I really mean by that?  There are so many different types of leaders and so many different types of people who will follow but what kind of leader are you?

So many people don't consider themselves to be a leader in any sense of the word.  However, you don't have to be the leader of a large group of people to be a leader.  I truly believe that all you need is a belief in something to become a leader. 

You may not think you have to change the world, although you might; you just need to believe that something can be better.  As a woman, and a wife, and a mother, I lead my family.  I believe that the four walls we call home should be filled with love and kindness (among other positive things of course!).  As a fitness coach, I lead my challengers.  I believe they all have the ability to become a healthier version of themselves and are also able to pay it forward.  As the leader of a team, I try to lead other members of my team.  I believe they can know success beyond their wildest dreams and continue to help other people find their confidence and better health. 

All of these leadership roles require different approaches for obvious reasons but we all are leaders in some sense of the word.  Through my own experience, I recognize the different approaches to leadership based on different motivations and different people, but I also recognize a few similarities. If you're going to be a leader, don't you want to be a good leader?  Here are a few of the similarities I've seen in good leaders.

Good leaders make every effort towards a specific purpose and lead by example.  Do you make every effort to show people what you're doing is right?  If you're leading your family, I'm sure you pour your heart into being the best mother you can be.  If you're anything like me, you can lose sleep over a bad decision, even if it wasn't that bad.  For years, my daughters watched me be unhealthy.  I made poor food choices and didn't exercise at all.  Now, when I work out, I know my daughters are watching.  Julia, my 2 year old, works out with me every time she sees me doing it.  She'll stand up and go into downward dog or stretch, or do the butterfly with her legs.  They're watching.  I make every effort to make sure they know it's important because they see me doing it. 

Everyone needs to know that what they're doing is important.  Not that it's important to me, but that it's important to you.  Life is not about my goals for you, it's about your goals for you.  If you're able to connect with the reason why you're doing something, the why that makes your heart smile, then it will make the hard times that much easier to get through.  To help lead you towards your goals, I make every effort to connect you with the reason why you're doing what you're doing to help you to stay inspired and reach your goals.

Good leaders lead with an open heart.  I lead out of love.  Even if I don't know you very well yet, it means so much to me to see you experience success.  That feeling comes from a need to pay it forward.  I know how I felt before, and I know how I feel now.  If I can lead 20 people to that improvement, the world will be a little bit better, even if it's just an improvement in the world according to you!  Is there something that you believe would make the world a little bit better?  You should act on it!  We're all here to help each other along this journey we call life.  Don't wait until tomorrow when you can help someone today. 
Good leaders encourage people around them and continue to build people up.  Again, this holds true both in my home and towards all of my challengers.  When I do homework with my daughter, sometimes I get frustrated.  Every time I've gotten frustrated, she ends up frustrated and homework becomes a terrible experience that night.  However, when I'm patient, and kind, it may take a little longer, but it gets done and she feels good about what she was able to accomplish.  I try to do this with everyone.  A little patience and kindness goes a long way in so many situations.  I'm not perfect by any means but for the most part, when something goes wrong, I see what it was, and it almost always starts with my own frustration.  It's so clich√© but the best thing to do when you're seeing your own frustration grow is to just take a deep breath and refocus.  Try to remember that what your doing is out of love.
And finally, good leaders continue to spend time seeking out ways to improve themselves.  This personal development is a key of good leadership.  Recognizing a weakness in yourself, whether it be physical, emotional, or intellectual and seeking out a way to improve it, can make or break a good leader.  Time and time again, I hear people with fitness goals who have a problem with consistency.  I love that I can help them with that and that they often seek me out to do just that!  Sometimes people need to read a book about loving themselves more, or feel like they've improved some part of themselves.  A lot of moms I know get into a rut sometimes because they feel so busy but just a few minutes each day of listening to an empowering pod cast or finding a hobby can really change your life.  Setting a goal and reaching it can make you feel like you can conquer the world...  and you can!!  It will make you a better person, a better mom, a better woman, and a better you.  Strive to be a better you... just a little bit better every day, and a few months from now, you'll be a lot better... in a year, you might not even recognize yourself.

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