What does leadership mean to you? What makes a great leader? Leadership is not necessarily a slot on an organizational chart. The best leaders lead others by inspiration and example not by force or coercion. We can be leaders in both our personal and professional lives. By the way, did you know that 57% of women are targeted for bullying in the workplace? That is NOT leadership. At least the kind I enjoy. One of my favorite types of leadership is leadership by example. When we walk our talk, when we first believe in ourselves, we are leaders.

Johnny the Bagger, a young man with Down’s syndrome is truly a leader.  It takes leadership to change a corporate culture, doesn’t it? Johnny changed the culture of the grocery store where he worked. Barbara Glanz was hired by a large grocery store chain to improve customer loyalty. She told the employees, “Everyone of you can make a difference and create memories for your customers that will motivate them to come back.” Johnny took this to heart and even though he was just a bagger, he came up with an idea. Each night he thought of an inspiration saying or he made one up and with his Dad’s help typed and printed the sayings. Cut them out and signed his name to the back. He placed one in each customer ‘s bags. Customers loved them. The store manager reported that the entire store culture had changed with each employee focused on making memories.

What makes a great leader?

Being a leader isn’t about a place on the organizational chart. It’s what you bring each day. Are you being the kind of person that others respect and desire to follow? Do you make a difference in the lives of others? Think about the traits you want in a leader.

Listen to your inner wisdom. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are the leadership traits that you bring to others every day in both your personal and professional life?
  • What are the leadership traits you have that you take for granted?
  • What leadership traits would you like to have?
  • What makes you a good leader?
  • What would it take to become a great leader?

Like Johnny, we are each born with different gifts and talents. What we choose to do with them is up to us.

Photo Credit: Wesley Fryer via Compfight cc

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