Leading is a verb. It is how we practice leadership in the moment, in any given moment. And each moment may require us to do the leading differently. However, the constant in all those different moments is us. So, it would be helpful if we were aware of how we lead ourselves, in leading now.
Leading self. If you were to reflect on your own life, when did you make the conscious decision to lead your life? Can you think of a moment when life stopped just happening to you and/or around you and you put yourself in the position of leading your own life? I remember one of mine.
I started first grade at St. Bernard’s Catholic School in Bellflower, California. My teacher was Sister Kathleen Marie Pughe and it was the only time in elementary school when I shared the same classroom with my twin sister, Karen. Sister Kathleen Marie started to take roll. She called out “Earl Buck”. Earl was the name I was given by my parents and I was not fond of it. In the moment, I saw an opportunity for change. I let Sr. Kathleen Marie know that she was correct and that I now go by Kevin, my given middle name. She made the change on the roll and I have gone by Kevin ever since. Upon reflection, it was a pretty bold move for a six-year old. Sister Kathleen Marie continued with roll by calling on my twin, Karen. Kevin and Karen as twin names also sounded better.
I grew up in a very chaotic, abusive and therefore dysfunctional household. My parents were divorced just a few years later. My father, Earl, was not a nice man to either my siblings or my mother. And in that moment when I changed my name in first grade, is when I began to lead my own life. I began to lead myself and it was liberating. I felt that if I could choose the name I liked, I could make all kinds of choices for myself. It was just the beginning of leading myself.
I will continue to explore the concept of leading self in upcoming newsletters and videos as we unpack what it means to be Leading Now. In the meantime, keep calling me Kevin and see if you can find those self-leading moments for yourself.