We moved to Brisbane 4 years ago in October. Any parent knows trying to get childcare part way through the school year is nearly impossible. The only place I could get was a Montessori inspired centre – I was happy because it was small and I didn’t feel my son would get too lost (he was nearly 2 years old).
The centre has 2 rooms – the “baby” room and the “big kids” room. In the big kids room, you find a range of children from ages 3 to 6. When my son moved into that room he was the youngest in the room. 3 years gap at that age is a big difference, and I was a little concerned as to how he would adapt being around the older kids.
Over time as I watched my son, I noticed he had quite a few friends, but one in particular stuck out. Edward was 2 years older than Struan and an interesting boy. He was very intense and focused. Talking to him felt a bit like being scolded by your own teacher at school, yet he and Struan formed a close bond.
I was struck by two things – Edward naturally wanted to lead – and my son naturally wanted to be lead. They gravitated together through a shared interest in toy cars, which resulted in a delightful “elder-style” relationship, where Struan learnt all sorts of resourceful leadership behavior from Edward – it was a joy to watch.
In my work I use a suite of tools designed to help my clients understand their behavioural preferences as well as their natural strengths and talents.
The question I am most often asked is: “Am I leadership material Fiona? Do I have what it takes to be a leader?”
My answer is always, without fail, a resounding YES, you are, and yes you do have what it takes to be a leader.
In our current corporate culture you could be forgiven for thinking that there is a checklist of traits and qualities that you simply must have to be a great leader. The good news is that every single one of us has the ability and capacity to be a great leader, because we can make the choice to do so.
Edward in the Montessori class chose to behave as a leader. Some might argue this was a natural trait he had, but the truth is the environment actively encouraged and fostered the older kids to make a choice to behave as leaders to the younger kids, and the younger kids to behave as leaders to the babies.
The same can be said of adult behavior – we continue to learn behavior, resourceful and unresourceful – from the people around us. And, most importantly, we continue to have the ability to CHOOSE how we behave.
If leadership is a choice, what does the behavior you are choosing to model and exhibit say about you and your style of leadership?
The ideal leader is YOU. And the ideal time to step into leadership is NOW. Make a choice – don’t wait to be chosen.
PS Learn more leadership strategies with me LIVE in Sydney and Brisbane in May. Click here for more details and to book your ticket.