Cover image for blog post Where Leadership Starts by Nick Vogel.

Where Leadership Starts

Wondering where leadership starts can get one into a deep philosophical hole. To keep this high level, like this blog is supposed to be, I’m going to talk about where leadership starts inside us.

There are millions of directions I could go with this post, but if we’re honest, leadership has to start with us. Here are three places where leadership starts within us.

1. Leadership starts in the soul

The soul is a tricky thing to talk about, but think about this as the intrinsic influence in your life. If you’re in leadership, I hope you feel “called” to it. If you do feel “called” to it, that’s what I mean by soul. You don’t just stumble your way into leadership. It’s rare that someone is just called upon because they’re the one available. There’s typically some inward force that drives people to be a leader. That’s where leadership starts.

2. Leadership starts in the heart

You can’t be a leader unless you’re passionate about it. You must be passionate about loving people and developing them to be all they can be. If your heart isn’t in it, chances are your leadership is inauthentic. As a leader, genuine care for people will get you a lot further than anything else you can accomplish.

3. Leadership starts in the mind

You have to think like a leader to be a leader. This isn’t some “I think; therefore I am” mumbo jumbo, but rather a mental framework. For example, it’s important that you take time to improve as a leader. You can only come to that conclusion if you think like a leader. A leader knows that they need to improve simply because that’s what leaders do. Part of that mental framework is also going to be tuning people out. I’ll paraphrase BrenĂ© Brown here, don’t listen to a person’s critique unless they’re in the battle with you.

When all three of these comes together, you have a well rounded leader. Of course, it’s obvious that something can’t start in three places at once, but the three work in tandem with one another. If one is lacking, the rest suffer.

Tell me what you think. Is there a place where leadership starts that I missed? Do you feel that you’re lacking in one of these areas? What can you do start leading better?

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