What words come to mind when you think of leadership?

Here is a list of what I thought before I attended a leadership conference last week:


I could go on and on, but the point I am trying to make is that there are so many definitions of the word leadership that we can forget what it actually means. The Catalyst conference I attended last weekend taught me this: leadership is being able to listen intently, be passionate, be respectful of others opinions, and, while seeking change, also be willing to change yourself.

A leader can be any person, no matter what race, gender type, introvert or extrovert. All that person has to do is set an example, listen, and have the desire to change the world. A leader doesn't need to be just a political figure. It can be a kid who advocates for safer schools in their community, or a person who wishes to see change in their community, to someone who wants to see that the homeless are taken care of. It could start with a Facebook page or a rally or even a group of friends getting together on the weekends to have good conversations.

Listening means that you come into every conversation with the mindset that you could learn something new. You enter a conversation ready to listen, at full alert and with a blank slate. Get rid of all your stereotypes you might hold, no one ever has a single story.

A leader also acts. When they see an issue they take up the responsibility to make change occur.

One thing that I think is very important to mention is the respectful quality of a leader. Respect is needed whenever you enter a conversation and it is needed whenever you are discussing controversial topics. Now-a-days people are so quick to shoot other people's opinions to the ground without truly listening. They already have their mind set and nothing is going to change it. Respect means to listen, acknowledge that they might not agree and to not automatically form division between sides.

I watched a vlog the other day of two people having a conversation. One was a liberal, the other was a conservative. They discussed religion, President Trump, Islam, gay marriage, and refugees.

What would you have expected from this conversation?

I pictured a lot of arguing back and forth, yelling and bad mouthing, honestly. Why? because that is all I see on the news these days. Yelling, screaming and NO listening.

But what I saw was two men sitting down and having a nice, respectful conversation, no yelling, no screaming, just listening and respect. This is how any conversation SHOULD be held. Who knows, you might learn something!

I would recommend that everyone attend a leadership conference of some type because it has the possibility of opening your mind, changing your habits on listening, and creating great leaders.
I am so glad I went and I can't wait to start having intentional, respectful and life changing conversations with people.

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