Self Leadership – Conventional or Unconventional?

What does leadership really mean?

From the dictionary – here’s the conventional definition:

the position or function of a leader, a person who guides or directs a group: He managed to maintain his leadership of the party despite heavy opposition. Synonyms: administration, management, directorship, control, governorship, stewardship, hegemony.
ability to lead: As early as sixth grade she displayed remarkable leadership potential. Synonyms: authoritativeness, influence, command, effectiveness; sway, clout.
an act or instance of leading; guidance; direction: They prospered under his strong leadership.

Notice how it is all masculine? One person leads at the top, the multitudes underneath. It’s linear.

What is Unconventional Leadership?
The way I see it, there is no top down. It’s a matter of leading yourself from the inside out. There is no one outside to rule. It’s an inner job. Unconventional leadership means allowing yourself to be yourself and letting your power and energy flow – through your actions, your impulses and through your voice. When I don’t lead from my inner truth, it causes me great stress. Critical thoughts distract my otherwise good intentions, causing me to waste precious time and energy that could be put to creative use.

Instead of following someone elses norms, you follow your own. This is how great organizations and enterprises are built. I remember Starbucks when they were one small little boutique cafe in Seattle which specialized in Italian coffee. That’s it!

In subsequent years, Starbucks grew into a powerful traditionally corporate chain – though the seed of it’s originality provided the inspiration behind the now standardized lattes… Conventional top down leadership can easily squash those who don’t fit into the norm.

What a shame! How many amazing ideas, services, products and relationships never see the light of day, all because unconventional leaders don’t have much support for expressing themselves.

Announcing the start of the Unconventional Self Leadership Movement

Last month on a trip to the Red Sea, I met a friend at Aroma cafe – an Israeli coffee and bistro cafe chain providing quality coffee and food that also supports the local economy and contributes big time to social projects across all communities – Jewish, Arab, religious and non-religious. Starbucks never succeeded in Israel because of them. They eventually left. I’m glad. I like the non-convention.

It was late at night and the employees were shutting down. They allowed us to sit and chat. They turned up the music loud as they went about their clean up. It was the Jackson Five. Spontaneously I broke out into dance. My friend, with her trusty cell phone in hand followed me around as I danced and sang around the open shopping mall.

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Unconventional leadership means being unwilling to compromise your truth. The world needs every one of us to express who we really are – not to be led like sheep by some distant leader who decides our fate.

When you allow yourself to trust your inner voice – first of all by stopping long enough to listen to it – you are a leader. You make an impact upon this world, by expressing your authentic voice and making your small yet important mark upon the world.

What one step could YOU take towards empowering your own self leadership? Let us hear – by your comment below.

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