"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us... "
- Marianne Williamson
In today's world where powerful leaders are defined, and even celebrated, by their bold, overt actions or by their financial and political influence played out in the public domain, we lose sight of the silent leaders among us and more importantly within ourselves. We lose sight of leadership as the everyday act of helping make a difference in someone's life, touching their heart or feeding their soul.
We often think of leaders as being extroverts being in positions of authority having high levels of confidence and having strong personalities, and leading groups of people via setting vision and direction and motivating people to align behind a mission or purpose. Yes, these types of leaders do have their place and can be inspirational and effective in driving social change and good. But for most of us we don't see ourselves in these shoes.
And for some, leadership or being leaders seems elusive. As we go through our daily lives, we do not think we have opportunities to be great leaders because of our circumstances, our humility or personalities. We may even start to think of leadership as bigger than us. But it is not.
Truth be told - we all lead at some part of our lives. We serve as leaders in our jobs, our communities and in our families. We all have the ability to be leaders. Leadership is not about power or superiority. It is about celebrating and releasing the potential of those around us. Enacting change through small genuine efforts, kind words, positive energy and pure and well intended thoughts are the hallmarks of quiet leadership.
Quiet leaders work behind the scenes and are unassuming - working quietly, carefully and with good intention and love. They live by their values, even when dealing with serious problems and presented with challenging dilemmas. There is no forceful action or imposing beliefs or thoughts onto others. It is by example and being true to themselves that they lead.
Quiet leaders recognize the uncertainty and complexity that are so much part of our lives, and they don't assume the right thing to do is always clear. But by listening to their inner voice, tapping into their fabric of experiences and being true to themselves they do the right thing and lead in usually very unassuming, subtle ways. So subtle that most people touched by this leadership may not always recognize it.
We all have the ability to be a catalyst in someone's life by something we say or do. We as part of the connected universe can be so powerful in each others lives by being everyday leaders. Quiet leadership is what moves and changes the world.