Are You Being The Kind Of Leader You Want To See?

As you may know, a few years before I wrote my book, I worked at a major network in the news department. I didn’t love it. I used to joke that working in news was all about murders and rapes and car chases, oh my. I didn’t like using my storytelling in that way. Now, I’ve honed in on the fact that I’m more interested in stories about the transformative aspect of people’s lives, the ones that show how we human beings come to the other side after our struggles, after being in pain.
My colleagues though, were dedicated and focused on revealing the truth of what is happening in the world moment by moment. So it was with great horror, that I watched the news unfold about a bomb threat to the lives of a group of reporters at CNN; people targeted for telling the truth about the fire of violence and divisiveness lit in this country by the 2016 election.
That could have been me, I thought.
I could have been doing what I know I was called to do, using my voice in service to my country.

I might have been at risk of being bombed because I was telling the truth.
Because that’s the thing about me, I tell the truth.

That’s what good journalists and leaders have in common, a desire to peel back the layers of lies to get to the root of what is true.
Telling the truth is the hallmark of every great leader. They don’t change their story to suit their mood or to add zeros to their bank accounts. Their opinions are the same whether the camera is on or off. They don’t bend the law to hide their proclivities, or forgo their financial obligations to clients or country. They don’t incite hate with violent rhetoric and they certainly don’t encourage the use of violence for kicks. A great leader knows that words are sacred and they use them to heal, to inspire harmony.
Leaders in my mind are consistent, responsible and uphold a vision that is greater then themselves. They are of the people, and for the people, ALL people. Because the diversity of this planet is a product of the divine. So a great leader takes the well-being of those who have been entrusted to her leadership very carefully.
As a young woman, I often found myself wondering why I always had to be the problem solver, the one to step up and get things done? Why couldn’t somebody else do x or y for me? Why if there was change to be made, did I have to be the one to start it?
The older I get, the more grateful I am for those early experiences, the ones that as it turns out were part of my training to be a leader. They taught me how to see.

I learned to lead myself first, to write my own story with integrity, truth for the compassionate transformation of humanity. I learned that no one human being is my source and certainly not my power. I learned to use my voice to defend justice, to have courage to shine a light on what is broken and to do what it takes to leave the world a better place than the one I arrived in. I want that to be my legacy.
What about you? Are you being the kind of leader you want to see?