The world is in crisis and turmoil looms. People all around the world are either losing their jobs, are victims of senseless conflicts or terrible natural disasters. Never more so than today would strong leadership seem more necessary. And yet, never more so than today do so many people seem to have lost faith in leadership. Indeed, many of the problems today seem to be the result of bad leadership.
History shows us that humanity has gone through many crises and driven itself to the brink many times. And each time, single individuals have stood up and shown the way forward through strong and positive leadership.
So what about now and the current crisis? Do we have the leadership to take us forward in a positive manner?
Many of us are not perhaps engaged in actions which impact the greater scheme of things or which can change History with a capital H. And yet, many ordinary individuals can and do change things for the better.
Great leaders from the past can indeed show us the way: FDR, JFK, Churchill, Gandhi, etc. But even more importantly, we can all ask ourselves how we can develop our personal leadership to help turn things around at our own level, wherever we are in the world, whatever our station in life or job.
As Mother Theresa says “we can’t do great things, we can only do small things with great love“.
Leadership shapes our lives for the better or the worse. It brings peace or generates war. Leadership give us direction and purpose for better or worse. It bonds us together or drives us apart. We all can ask ourselves how we want to lead and help to change the course of events.
Rather than relying on some major figure at a global level to turn things round, now is the time to think how we can all individually contribute to changing things for the better by developing our own personal leadership. Leadership is not the domain of the great and the powerful. Everyone can exercise leadership. For what is leadership if not standing up for what one thinks is right and challenging the status quo despite the cost.
Rather than waiting for a super hero to save us, we must all assume personal leadership and do what we can at our own individual level to make the world a better place. The real lesson from history is that all of those super heroes who saved humanity in the past or who changed things for the better were perhaps ordinary people who stood up when it mattered. How do you imagine yourself leading? What does leadership mean for you?
Discover the video from the Harvard Business School leadership Initiative.