The Little Big Things in Leadership


This beautiful comment from Julia Katsivo in response to my post titled “Do You Know Why You Lead?”, inspired this topic.

 “For me the answer would be that it’s my nature. As I walk, I nudge, pick-up, lift up, lift off, slap backs and give hugs to those who need a little hope to find the way on their own road again.”

 Leadership is a big deal. It must be, right? There are literally thousands, if not millions, of people opining about it every day, myself included.

Most of our discussions about leadership are wound around complex topics like psychology, culture, engagement and authenticity.

We wrestle with the language and actions that produce the outcomes we attribute to effective leadership.

We talk in theories.

We applaud stories of leaders who influence sweeping changes and positively impact business or society and try to understand the techniques that made them a success.

I was reminded through Julia’s comment that leadership can also be simple.

And how easy it is for us to be so focused on all that “important” stuff that we miss the opportunities that are right in front of us.

A smile.

A  sincere thank-you.

A kind word.

A shoulder to lean on.

A little laughter.

A moment to listen.

A story to share.

Being present to see these opportunities and act on them can be a challenge when there is so much to do. So many distractions and so many demands.

We have to keep ourselves open…we have to be aware.

These small acts of kindness and connection show us how leadership is naturally expressed.

This is how we influence the lives of the people we serve.

This is how we show love as we lead.

Be intentional about the little things and the big things will follow.

We spend significant time and effort planning our strategy, making our lists, following up on projects and tasks.

Are you making time to lend a hand? To appreciate and value the people you come in contact with every day?

Do you train your mind to listen to your heart so that you see these moments even in the midst of the daily demands you face as a leader?

If you are, I want to encourage you that this is some of the most important work you will do.

If you are not, I want to challenge you to open up to the power of these influential moments.

Because when it comes to leadership…the little things are the big things.

Note: In the spirit of transparency, I’ve republished this post, (with minor edits), as it appeared a few years ago on my previous blog. I had a similar topic in mind for this week and decided, well, I couldn’t think of how to say it any better than I already did. I hope the message still serves.

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