We are all leaders. Some of us are formal leaders, meaning being a leader is part of our work role; some of us informal leaders, the person that others look to for advice & guidance, but are not considered an “official” leader in our work or volunteer role. Regardless of your roles, someone looks to you as a leader. To be a good leader takes time & practice; being a leader requires ongoing, life-long learning. Being a good leader is very similar to being a good person, a good human being; both requiring on-going development & life-long learning. Are you up for the job?
Step 9: Standing up for what is right: speak up, write a letter or editorial, protest, volunteer
Everyone complains about government, taxes, jobs, & school (just to name a few as the list of complaints we have is long). Politicians never do what is right, taxes are too much & never fair, jobs never pay enough or give enough recognition & school is definitely not fair & far too hard. Complaints abound & one only needs to go as far as social media to get brought up-to-date on the top complaints of the day. I remember being told if I didn’t like something I needed to do something to make a change & if not willing to make a change, then shut up & accept what is. Before complaining, however, I have learned that I often do not know all the facts. When I don’t agree with a decision I have found that I need to take time to do some digging & find out all that facts & all that was considered. Indeed, at times I have had to admit I am wrong (but don’t tell my husband).
When you see someone being bullied, do you speak up & stop the bullies? Do you let them know what they are doing or saying is wrong? Do you quietly slink away when someone makes a racist remark, or tells a racist joke? Are you sure that you don’t bully, discriminate, or display racism from time to time? What would it take to make you speak up? Have you considered that by not speaking up you are condoning wrong action & behaviour?
Letters to organizations, to the editor of the local newspaper are ways to speak up & let your opinion be known. In doing so make sure you have the facts. Though protests are not as frequent as they were in the sixties, they still take place. Once again, know the facts & don’t break the law unless you are ready to pay the price of the fine or time in jail. Above all, avoid violence & destruction of property.
One of the best ways to stand up for your beliefs is to volunteer. Support an organization or group that has similar beliefs & passions as you. This one is putting your time & money where your “mouth” is; don’t just talk about what is wrong, what should be done, get out & do.
Step 10: Knowing yourself: values, beliefs, principles, biases. What would make you do something wrong; something you do not believe is right, going against your values, beliefs, or principles?
Have you ever taken the time to think what it would take for you to do something that is completely against your beliefs, values, principles? Would you be able to kill someone? Under what circumstances? Would you lie? Under what circumstances? Have you ever said “I could never do that?” What might happen to make you do “that”? Would you disown a child? Of course not. When someone does, do you know the whole story of why such drastic measures had to be taken? Sometimes people have addictions that require their loved ones to not enable them; it is important to think what that might look like. Sometimes there are health & safety issues that need to be considered.
In a life or death situation would you lie to save your life or the life of another? A common point of discussion in the media these days is physician assisted death. As with abortion there are many opinions. And, there may not be a right or wrong answer. These are decisions, that regardless of who is in the unenviable position of making the decision, is in a tough place.
Anything we do affects everyone. Consider that statement as you make your decisions, big & small. We are merely a small strand in the web of this & other universe, of all existence. Whatever happens to that strand will affect the strength & integrity of the web & the existence of others.