What’s on our Minds
Very few public personas will reach legendary humanitarian work for the greater good like Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., or Mother Teresa. Our society in the digital age has come to think of day-to-day influencers—famous YouTubers, TikTok-ers, Instagram posters, celebrities and athletes—as leaders. But talent + public social media platform doesn’t produce genuine connection. It is one directional.
Such influencers are concerned with their work, their image, their audience, and the trust and loyalty of followers. This is not inherently negative or harmful. It can be game changing if it’s an uplifting person with an honest work ethic, and an encouraging message. These attributes are motivating and can drive people to work their hardest or push themselves to the next level, but the individual is not typically personally invested in helping you define and deliver on your own dreams.
At the RCI, we passionately believe that influence is not leadership without relationship.
Why It Matters
In this day and age where social media follows, likes, and shares infused with fake news from conflicting sources, it is difficult to know where to turn to for genuine leadership: Inspiration. Connection. Vision. It is important to recognize which people we can turn to that lead by example, value relationships and help us to define and achieve goals—for ourselves or our team. We also have to recognize that whether or not we have accepted the responsibility of “leader,” many of us are already leading others, in our home and/or professional roles. It matters how we talk to others, and talk about others.
Something to Think About
Think of the people in your everyday life that are leading you. Is it the person at work that you directly report to? A family member or friend that helps to shape your thinking and inspires you? Is it a clergy member, a personal coach? As you continue to think about leadership as influence, be conscious of the people in your life who are shaping it.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader”- John Quincy Adams
Over the coming months, we will dive deeper on the qualities of leadership—and how to develop them in yourself.