As a culture, we are fascinated with leadership. What is a leader? (Am I one?) What is good leadership? (Am I a good leader?) How do leaders develop? (This is hard! How can I get better at it?) How can I help develop other leaders? (They are struggling to be effective. How can I help?) We are fascinated, because leadership matters (in our day-to-day lives, we regularly experience the meaningful difference between strong and weak leadership) and it is hard to lead effectively. Leadership is fundamentally a social act, involving other people, with their own personalities, histories, aspirations, needs, strengths and challenges. At the same time, leadership starts with ourselves. As challenging as other people can be, we can be our own worst enemy – even the most experienced leaders find themselves inadvertently getting in their own way. Meanwhile, the external context is constantly changing, throwing up new barriers and creating new opportunities. Navigating self, others, and the external landscape – all to achieve worthy goals – that is challenging!
© 2021 Carolyn Volpe Cunningham