Today is the fifteenth day of the new blog series entitled Bring Your Leadership to Life! Join us throughout the month of March and beyond as we feature guest bloggers who share their perspective on how they bring their leadership to life! This blog series highlights the theme of the 2nd Annual Evening for Austin Leading Ladies, an event that SOS Leadership is honored to be hosting in partnership with The Concordia MBA on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at Concordia University Texas. Learn more about this powerful event and register at www.austinleadingladies.com.
Today’s blog post comes from Amber Wadey. Amber is the Organizational Support Manager for LIVESTRONG Foundation.
As I was preparing to write this blog, I asked my 5-year old daughter what it means to be a leader. She didn’t hesitate: “A leader is kind, helpful, and good.” In her eyes, I am a leader. In fact, I’m right up there with her teacher and the President of the United States of America. She also recognizes that she’s a leader, because her little brother copies everything she does. For better or worse, leaders set an example that others follow, and that’s a big responsibility. Especially when you’re five.
Until recently, I didn’t see myself as a leader. I’ve always played the supporting role. At home I support my husband and kids. My job is to support my coworkers, volunteers and interns. The word “Support” is in my title, and to be honest, I like it that way. Supporting other people is comfortable for me. I enjoy it. So, when I decided to join the Gr8 Women Leaders program I wasn’t sure what I’d get out of it. I’m not a President or Director – but I do manage people and programs (and a household!), and leadership skills are required of me every single day.
For me, leadership is deciding how my family is going to face the day – with optimism, confidence, a structured routine, and endless hugs. Leadership is asking for what I need, having hard conversations when I need to, praising progress, and doing the best I can everyday with the resources I have. It’s getting up early every morning and putting food on the table every night. It’s balancing my work and my life and making decisions that are right for my family, even if they aren’t the decisions other people think I should make. Sometimes I’m silly or frustrated or tired, and I don’t always get it right – but I’m always authentically me. Leadership is knowing that people may or may not follow my example, and understanding that they won’t always get it right either.
It turns out, I’ve been a leader all along – I just choose to lead from within a supporting role. I hope the example my daughter sees is that she can be a leader in whatever role she chooses.
Stay tuned in the days to come as the Bring Your Leadership to Life Series continues….