Be the leader in your own life

Back in my early twenties, when I used to do a bit of hair and beauty modelling, I was told point blank by an agent that I could never be anything other than in the background. In fact, they kept repeating it over and over. ‘No, not a strong enough look to be in front’. But it’s all relative (and I did land a couple of big jobs with another agent).

Besides, I’m now the face of my business. I’ve represented many clients as a PR and I deliver talks and workshops for a living. Modelling wasn’t and isn’t my forte. But that didn’t mean that I couldn’t lead in other ways.

As I recalled this the other day, it made me wonder how many of us have been told by someone that we’re not a leader. That we can’t shine. That we can’t be anything other than way out back – languishing in the wings, waiting to be granted a starring role.

We live in a culture of following. We often wait to see what the influencers do, say, think and wear. And while none of this is inherently wrong, there comes a time when it’s vital to take the lead in your life. To decide that you will forge a new path – even if it takes you somewhere completely unexpected.

So many people I’ve met recently have had to do this (me included!) And we’ve had to put up with the raised eyebrows and the smugness that some feel when we inevitably trip up along the way. But it’s so worth taking a leap because one leap leads to another.

I feel that ultimately, leadership is not just about leading others, but about leading yourself. It’s about deciding on your vision and being your OWN coach, guide and mentor, first and foremost. Then, it’s about collaborating and building community with other self-driven leaders. It’s about learning, sharing and growing together. All while ensuring that you do it YOUR way (and yes, I was thinking of Frank Sinatra when I wrote that!)

The photo is a little reminder to wake up and smell the roses!

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