Like it or not, believe it or not, everyone leads.
The things we say and do have an impact on others. We influence others with our words and behaviors each and every day. It doesn't require a formal title or a hierarchy to be in place. You lead, they lead, everyone leads.
The real question is this: how intentional are you about when and where you lead?
Accidental leadership is a wasted opportunity. Modeling behaviors you wouldn't want others to follow is unfortunate. Taking people down the wrong path can even be harmful.
Acknowledging that you are a leader will help you to be more purposeful and deliberate about your leadership. Being mindful, then, about what you do and how you do it will ensure you lead in a way that is positive and productive.
You may also wish to be more aware of how you are following when others lead (because they, too, may be leading without forethought or true direction).
Getting this level of clarity will even help you determine when it's appropriate to lead and when it's appropriate to follow. Start with determining what really matters to you and what path is most likely to take you closer to meeting your true priorities and values. Then you will lead and follow with a meaningful purpose.
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