What if you were told, “You are a leader”? How would you act? What would you think? What if suddenly you were placed in a managerial position? You have a team under you and you have never been a manager before. How would you act? Do you think you would be successful? Would you instantly be the best leader your organization has ever had? If you were being honest with yourself, you would answer no. Your eyes would be opened up to the details of the upper ranks. Suddenly that nice comfortable position has a few unforeseen bumps
The grass as you find out isn’t as green on the other side as you thought. Yet, you are a leader, whether you realize it or not. Maybe you are like me and for the majority of your life, you swore you weren’t a leader. You believe that you didn’t have anything to give. Because of that mindset, you have been a good worker but that is all. You make yourself a damn fine hand but you were never offered a management position. Why? Because shining through your work and attitude was that you were not worthy of a management position.
What Is A Leader?
Dictionary.com has the definition as
- A person or thing that leads.
- A guiding or directing head, as of an army, movement, or political group.
I use the definition
- A person who others look to for answers and guidance.
OK so that is technically three definitions but let’s not quibble too much on a useless detail. I want to break these down just a little bit so that you can see how these all three defiantly fit into the same mold of a leader.
A person or thing that leads
What does this tell us? You have a person or a thing. So, a signpost can lead the way or in to look at it through a different view is a leader. You follow the signs to where you are going. You are more than a signpost.
A guiding or directing hand, as of an army, movement, or political group
This definition is a little more detailed and I like it because of the meat of the definition a Guiding or directing hand. As I said, you have made a damn good hand of yourself at work. Now I would like you to stop for a moment and think back to when someone asked you for advice. If you do that, then you see that definition #2 and #3 go hand in hand.
A person who others look to for answers and guidance.
This is you. This is me. We all have people who come to us for advice or help. I have often told my kids and others that we are all experts. We all know somebody who comes to us for advice insight or thoughts. That is a leader. You are a leader just you and I don’t have the confidence nor the mindset to grab the reigns. Yet now knowing that it is possible, that thought has facilitated the mindset shift to understanding your leadership potential. This form of leadership is called natural leadership.
A Natural Leader
A natural leader is someone who is naturally gifted in the ability to lead. A Natural leader can also be a person who is knowledgeable about nature and the outdoors. You found out you already have the first part. Yet what does it matter if you get outdoors or not? A huge difference is made.
There is a reason travel blogs and bushcraft are all the rage these days. Go on Instagram and you can’t go five posts without seeing someone outdoors. We as people, living breathing organisms and we are supposed to be outdoors at least from time to time on a fairly regular basis. Ask yourself this. If we were not supposed to be outside then why does our skin have to have sunshine to manufacture a complex of vitamins that aid in our absorption of Calcium and other nutrients? Vitamin D is that complex of vitamins which is also a key nutrient to people’s mental happiness. Now you wonder why there are so many kids with anxiety issues. You wonder, why depression is running rampant?
Leaders who are outdoors more, are in a better mental state to handle the trials and tribulations of day-to-day leadership issues. That is why I call my style of leadership in Natural Leadership. You can and do lead. You will improve your leadership skills by both knowing you are a leader and getting outside. Is that name going to stick? Don’t know, but it sums up what it does the best. It helps leaders both new and old become better leaders. They
Who can be a leader?
As it was stated earlier, it is possible for everybody to be a leader. In fact, most people are. Even kids, if you watch kids on the playground you will see that kids all lead each other. You will see natural leadership in action. Each kid leads in his own way and style.
A leader can’t lead by himself.
He can’t. Why? What did the mountain men of the 1800s do? You had pioneers venturing out across our great nation. Facing god knows what type of odds that they were going to die. They found places along the way. These folks often called trailblazers. Were they not also leaders? Do the term trailblazers not bring lone leaders to mind? They do to me. I see a guy discovering a valley no one other than the buffalo has seen. That trailblazer could be standing on a rock face overlooking the scene.
That is a leader. He goes at it alone at times even when people think that it is a bad idea. A natural leader knows where he wants to go, though he may not know precisely how to get there. If he can find some help, he gets the needed help. If not then he will venture out on his own and find out how to get it done.
The mindset of a natural leader is of Can do. If you come across a problem, it is just there because it needs a solution that you can provide.
It takes a special mindset that is developed though. As mentioned earlier you can be a manager. Yet if you don’t believe, you can lead or manage a team you will do things to self-sabotage. If you don’t believe you can provide the solution, you won’t. That mindset will echo to your team and your supervisors. Now, this doesn’t mean you know all the answers either. In fact, the most efficient leaders are the people who ask the most questions. They get the team involved. They don’t take the, “my way or the highway” option. Yet they can be tough stern and direct when needing to be. It is never about power. Most good leaders aren’t even after power they see that something needs to be done and they take action. Their mindset is to serve.
The mindset of a bad leader is often because of the power. Many times, there is that one guy, who seems to step on every neck around. He doesn’t care who he takes out while clambering for the top. He has only power as his objective. The mindset isn’t to help anybody else but themselves, and others are there to serve.
If everybody can be a leader then why so many followers?
This reason is a little tough to swallow but the answer is most people don’t want to lead because of the work. The better the leader you become the more people come to you for answers. The more demand on your time and energy is required. Yet that isn’t all the issue
From school up, the ability to think for yourself is worked out of you. Look at how the school is designed. School classes are here to create good little employees. These employees do as they are told for 8 hours a day. Those who succeed at this get A’s while those who are often in their own little world get C’s and D’s. You, as a child are graded on how well you can do your work. Not on how well you think. People are starting to wake up to the system and there are more and more leaders waking up to their own destiny. Thanks to unschooling and other curriculums.
“A” student’s work for “B” students at companies founded by “C” students.
The C student is the one who couldn’t sit still he had other things on his mind.
Sadly, even the outdoors is being removed. Schools have slowly been pulling away recess from kids more and more to keep them “learning” so they can test well. Because of this one of the big problems is that boys are getting into more trouble because they have no place to expel their energy. These boys are called ADD or ADHD and give medication to make them sit still. When in reality kids learn better and faster if they are allowed to run jump play cowboys and Indians. The opportunity for kids to learn how to lead is being removed.
Society isn’t innocent either. People have worked hard to make labels for people. Even those who claim to not like labels, label other people so that they are categorized. You have introverts and extroverts the extroverts are often thought of as being the leaders. They get the raises because they are in everybody’s face. They are seen as being popular. Yet that isn’t always the case Thomas Jefferson just wanted to spend time in his gardens away from other people, yet he was called on repeatedly. Instances of introverts leading are just as many. Yet, Society likes to say that you have to be this ball of energy. The answer is no you just have to be able to lead and ask questions.
You also have people who like to use the label of Alpha male and beta male and omega male. The truth to these labels is that all men and boys are alpha males. People just naturally turn to those who are the calmest and assertive in their decisions. Many want a so-called alpha male to be this walking talk ball of testosterone, and that simply isn’t the case.
Even today’s term of Toxic masculinity is a term to hold men specifically back. It is used to make sure that the natural leader in men stays tucked away. All because some people want the natural leader to hand over his leadership reigns to someone else. That is all around the sign of a bad leader. Someone who is gaining leadership for power sake. Then getting the power at the expense of another.
You are A Leader.
You, my friend, are a natural leader. It was in you from the time you were born. That ability may have been stuffed down. You might have believed that you were not a leader. Yet. People turn to you for advice all the time. You are a leader. A Natural leader at that. Get outdoors and see what nature has to teach about leadership. As you study more about leadership you will see that your mindset slowly shifts to acceptance that you are a natural leader.
There is a group for those who want to improve their natural leadership in the mastermind section of this site. Join up if you want to improve your natural leadership quicker.