Introducing Spark Notes, notes to spark conversation within ourselves and with others. Join the purpose conversation.
We celebrated the life of one of the greatest leaders of my lifetime, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Reviewing his service and his voice brought forth a big question. What type of leader am I?
Powerful teachers bring forth powerful questions. We get sparked to begin our further inquiry.
When I wrote about unlocking purpose in business, I wrote it to and dedicated it to the leader.
Because we all are leaders.
The first person that we lead is ourselves.
We lead ourselves through our love legacy, our presence, core values, our purpose and goals. We then lead the places we have responsibility over, our gifts, our talents, our homes, our cars, our cubicle, our office, our business, our government, our organization our community, our ministry. Some of us lead teams, groups, initiatives, strategies, businesses, organizations and so forth.
We hear so much about developing those who lead others and have far reach. As we should. It is a huge responsibility. The far-reaching leader, the vision castor, the chief enrollment officers, the rallyers, the guides, the ones who first soar and create a path for others are instrumental to creating a movement and moving others to align with the movement and act. The movement could be called mission, goal, strategy or vision. This is the widely celebrated leader, the passionate and the widely seen.
There is also the leader that leads through depth not breadth, initially. Depth leadership speaks to our evolving understanding of who we are and how we show up in the world individually. The more we understand and practice the farther the roots and establishment. These leaders are the trees that are foundational to any movement and provide the strength for others to climb to gain far-reaching views.
The depth leader may also be a leader of her craft. Her technical expertise leads movements, change and innovation. She leaves a strong legacy and a baton to pass to further evolve her art or science. Remember the story of how singer Mahalia Jackson, in the leadership of her craft, impacted Dr. King just before his pivotal speech.
Then there are those spectacular leaders who lead from both depth and breadth. Dr. King was a leader with this combination of assets to those he served. Dr. King’s legacy is so rich because he was dynamic but also because he left a blueprint for not only the what but also the how.
Remember as dynamic and committed a leader as Dr. King with a legacy that lives half a century after his murder, he could not lead without the inspired action of those he led. The legacy of a depth or breadth leader is how she moves forward the movement through, people, craft, scope, presence and/or influence.
One of the ways to determine whether you lead others or lead by supporting others, or lead through your craft or expertise is to determine your definition of success. If you remove the messaging, from our culture and conditioning, what sparks you? Are you energized by leading others regardless of all of the pitfalls of such a role? Are you energized by putting your all in advancing your craft? Are you energized by leading the way you support and move missions forward? All are roles of leadership are required and if you don’t know, start with yourself and the answers will come.
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. ~ Howard Thurman
I hope that everyone is energized by leading the way you show up and what you bring to every person and environment you encounter. This is the promise of living your life of purpose. You take you everywhere you go. You take your leadership in whatever role or fashion with you everywhere you go.
This is my answer to the big question of leadership posed by reflecting on the life and legacy of Dr. King.
What are your big questions when you are gifted with being sparked by brilliance?
Dena, Your Sister in Purpose
Dena Wiggins is a transformational author and consultant. She takes an unwavering stand for your purpose. She supports individuals and systems of individuals in extracting insight, knowledge and purpose to leverage into Galvanized Results that spark, excite and move into action. Stay connected, join the conversation, take inspired action.