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Leading in any area that’s important to us takes courage. It asks that we give up old notions on who we think we are, and what we think we are capable of. It risks failure and rejection. It requires imagining a different life and world.

The life you yearn to live, and the impact you dream to make is not possible without this.

I learned this in villages the world over. Women and men who were raised to think a certain way. Who had no reason to believe anything different was possible, and indeed to imagine so was setting themselves up for disappointment. These were people who felt powerless – at the effect of policies, decisions, and situations outside their control. They believed only certain people could lead – others, not them.

These old ideas of leadership and alive and unwell in us too.

However, a new paradigm is arising, which I first saw in these same villages. Leaders who are authentic, inclusive, principled, and impactful. This new model of leadership is diverse, inclusive and available to all. It is not one where leaders are limited by title or authority. We are not serfs any longer, fated to ‘doff our caps’ at any noble that passes by.

This leadership potential rests within every person, every community and every organisation. They are the greatest resource we have. We are the greatest resource humanity has.

This is the leadership we need to awaken to and claim. Every human has the ability to lead, and have a say, in the course of their own life. We can each make an impact in areas important to us. Irrespective of class, race, gender or history, this leadership is accessible to all.

It just needs to be activated and supported.

Activation requires a combination of inner and outer work. All change requires both. To truly be a leader in the matter of your own life, you can’t just rearrange the circumstances so they suit you. There must be a loving confrontation with your limiting beliefs and mindsets. There must be a reimagining of how you move in the world, and what you see is possible. There must be a reckoning with the old systems of power, and the structures that keep it in place.

To start in this process, whether for yourself personally, or for your organisation or community, notice

  • What arises when I consider my own leadership potential? Do I shy away from it? Do I reject it? What old story would I need to give up to truly own my own power?
  • What arises when I think of my team or organisation? Do I truly see leadership possible in all people, or just a few? Question why I might think that.
  • What arises when I consider my community or world? Am I hoping a few smart people will solve our problems? Do I feel despair at what passes for leadership, but discount my own ability for impactful engagement?
  • What is important enough for me that would have me engage whole heartedly in this new form of leadership?

I am passionate about activating this new mindset of leadership, and supporting it to take hold and flourish. I’d love to know your thoughts on this new paradigm, and what it could mean for you.