I’m fresh off a Leadership Retreat from last weekend, still feeling the euphoric high from the INSPIRATION that was injected into my soul from countless leaders who imparted their wisdom though a mix of stories, vulnerability, humility, truth and love. I was sorting through my pictures from the weekend and came across this one, that one of my business partners snapped, unbeknownst to me, while I was sharing a moment with 6-week-old Aria (one of the perks of owning your own business is you CAN bring your babies to conferences). There are few things in life more humbling and more rewarding than connecting with other human beings…of all ages.
As little Aria laid in my lap facing me, I began to softly speak to her. She was locked in – laser focused on my every move. When I looked in her eyes – she looked right back in mine. When I smiled at her, she smiled right back at me. When I spoke to her, she hung off my every word, and when I fell silent she cooed trying to copy me and re-engage in conversation. We are hard-wired to respond favourably to what FEELS good during an interaction between two or more people. Babies are receptive to energy, eye contact and moods.
Aren’t we ALL…at every age?!
Isn’t THIS what leadership is all about? Whether we are parents raising children, teachers, bosses, friends, partners or co-workers, isn’t leadership about making people feel connected, heard, understood and validated?
In my 20+ years of working in or dealing with corporate I can count on ONE hand the number of leaders that made me FEEL inspired, connected or engaged the way a leader should. Most of the VP’s, managers, Presidents I dealt with left me shaking my head wondering HOW on earth they were ever PAID to “lead” people. Pointing fingers (literally or figuratively), putting people down, making people feel shamed, judged, blamed, embarrassed or incompetent are NOT the ways to LEAD. True leadership isn’t granted by title, it is earned in countless unassuming ways that we validate and empower others to FEEL better, stronger, more capable.
Somewhere along the way, it seems we have FORGOTTEN that we are all just human beings, with the same basic needs to be loved, heard, understood and to live a life that matters. We let our EGOS take over, and we act from a place of entitlement because of our JOB TITLE, designation, pay-check, or false sense of superiority. Looking at this little baby, so new and pure and innocent, reminds me that we all come in to this world the same, WITHOUT a title, FREE of a sense of SUPERIORITY, without an ego. We are all hard wired from birth to CONNECT with one another, to be OPEN and receptive to energy and LOVE, engaging with one another, and to MIRROR what we see, feel and do. It’s so simple really.
Let’s all agree to treat each other with love, understanding and the same basic respect regardless of age, title, income, race or gender, remembering that we all have the same humble beginnings.
To leave people feeling better than we found them…now there’s something worth striving for.
Thank you for being a part of this journey.
Never stop believing one person can make a difference…that one person is YOU!
With love and gratitude,
Inspired friend, proud momma, passionate entrepreneur