“There is so much talk about poor leadership in the workplace through to globally – often aptly. But leadership – and real transformation – begins within and with each spirit individually. You don’t need to be a Chief Executive or manager. Take responsibility for your own life, acts and deeds. Take the drivers seat personally and professionally. Step up, play your part, sing your song. But do it mindfully, cooperatively and compassionately.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru.
I run many life, career and business development programmes throughout the year. I watch at the start of each course as most people sit at the back of the room. It even happens when I run leadership programmes. “How do you expect to get a front row seat in your life if you sit in the back row of a course?” I often start by pointing this out. Back yourself, trust yourself, believe in yourself. Show up, step forward, share your gifts.
The fact is many are never given – or afford themselves the space – to first stop their gifts, then fully hone their talents and put them to their fullest effect… or at least really start to head down that path. But for that to happen you need to at some point take the lead. You may be fortunate; at some point a friend, boss, manager, sibling, parent, guardian, colleague, partner or a passer by may point your magic out to you. They may take you under their wing. The may mentor you, guide you, advise you, style you or inspire you. I have had that happen to me and I am grateful for it. Sometimes it’s just a word or two said here or there. But it may not always happen… at that moment you must take the lead.
There’s something more: at that moment it may be apt that you take the lead as the baton has been passed to you. Sometimes the wisdom may come from your own inner voice, your own inner wisdom. “Rasheed you have people skills – if you have people skills you can do anything” I still hear that voice (my own) in my mind in my early 20s when I was not sure I had the confidence or ability to step up into a more senior role that had emerged.
This week I begin working on a new leadership course I’ll be delivering in an NHS Trust. While there’s lots of materials, tools, coaching, practical exercises and the like I will be pulling together and sharing as far as I am concerned that is not where the magic resides. The magic is always in the asides. It is always in the glints in peoples’ eyes when they deeply ‘get’ and ‘reclaim’ what you are talking about.
I have a saying “Coaching is a bit like pointing someone to a baton that they already have in their own hands – but where they will run with it I have no idea”.
Whether you are a leader at home, work, socially, in business or in any aspect of your life, know that actually that in so many ways you are at the core and the centre. You open your eyes in the morning and there the world is. You close them at night and it vanishes from your view. This world is dependent on you. But it is not your mind alone that will enrich this world. No, that is never enough. It is your gifts and your heart that will do that. Once you put your heart back at the centre of your life, your work, your relationships, your art, your sport, your career, your business, then countless other lives will be touched. Then magic will happen as the beacon of self leadership and reach participation, contribution and collaboration will be aflame. That is a light that is illuminating, warming and emancipating. It is already there within – waiting. We often feel these things take courage… sometimes so. But more often than not it is compassion; and tenderness toward yourself, life itself and your fellow travelers that will make this very achievable for you.
Rasheed Ogunlaru is an acclaimed life, business and corporate coach whose simple ‘become who you are’ approach has helped countless business owners connect with themselves, their businesses and their customers. His background spans over 20 years in coaching, training, media, PR and performance. Rasheed is the business coach partner to the British Library’s Business and IP Centre and business coach mentor to TiE UK. He is a highly sought-after public speaker and regularly appears in the media, including the BBC, The Times and the Guardian.
Twitter – @RasheedOgunlaru
or call 020 7207 1082