I was a shy kid. I was quiet and obedient. This didn’t stop me from always being on a stage. I sang in the choir. I danced in ballet recitals. I ultimately ended up on the New York stage hiding behind fictional characters. I never thought I’d grow up to be a leader of anything or anybody. But when I look back I can remember many times when I was chosen to step up.
When I was in grade school, I was always the kid who was asked to watch the class when the teacher stepped out for a few minutes. In high school I was asked to watch over the office during the Disciplinarian’s lunch period. I could have gotten into all kinds of mischief in the Discipline Office. But I wasn’t the type to misuse the time, and I suppose the nuns knew that or they wouldn’t have left me in charge.
When I went to college and joined a sorority I was voted to be the pledge mother in charge of training the new recruits. In acting school I was made the “key student” because I never missed a class and was always on time. The job was only to take attendance and read the office announcements, but it came with tuition reimbursement so I accepted.
And a funny thing happened. Because I stood up and spoke to the class each morning, everyone assumed I was the teaching assistant. I didn’t know anything more about being in that class than the rest of the students. I didn’t know any more about acting than they did. I was there to learn. But other students started asking my opinion on their monologue choices. One day when the teacher didn’t show up, the class looked to me and asked what to do. And I came up with a solution. I had to step up because they were counting on me.
It can get tiring being a leader. Sometimes you just want to take the class and be the student. But when everyone looks to you, what do you do? You live up to it. You get pulled into being the leader whether you think you deserve it or not. And sometimes you need that push. Because if they are looking to you, you are already the leader.
I could give you more examples in my working life but I’m sure you get the idea.
I’ve always been surprised by my role. In time I had to accept I was a natural-born leader. I didn’t ask for it. It took me a long time to even realize that it’s just who I am.
OK, get ready, I’m about to shamelessly make a Spider-Man reference. As Uncle Owen said to Peter Parker, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Not that I think I have a great amount of power. But the Internet can be a powerful tool. It can reach a large number of people. You never know who is listening. I sometimes feel like everything I write needs to be profound. But after some time I realized I just need to be me. I am enough. If people want to know what I think and do, I should be honored. And act responsibly.
I’m not perfect. But if I can lead by example, then I am destined to lead.
I try to be an example on this website. I really do embrace the lifestyle I write about. I love eating Mediterranean style. I love indulging in moderation. I love connecting with people. I love practicing gratitude. I love writing for women.
Sometimes, though, it’s tiring being in the spotlight. Sometimes I want to step off the stage. And yes, the Internet is a huge stage. If you participate in any type of social media, you are on a stage too.
Now, I want to hear from you. Do you shy away from leadership? Or have you stepped into your role as a leader?
If you are reading this blog, then I know you are actively taking a step into your power. You are looking to learn and improve, so that you can help others.
So tell me in the comments section, are you answering the call of leadership?