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What can we do in the absence of positive leadership?

Whether it’s in the government, workplace or in education, I think that the absence of positive and trusted leadership can make people feel lost and disassociated. I have experienced these feelings and I know that it can seem hopeless, but I have discovered that by connecting with other types of leaders and considering how I lead my own life, I can find a sense of connection, direction and inspiration.

When I felt disassociated with managers and directors in the workplace, I discovered positive leadership when I joined walking groups led by mountain leaders. Back in 2015 this was a new environment for me, where I felt nurtured to learn and inspired to explore more of the countryside. And when I thought I had nowhere to turn for guidance in my career, I discovered coaches who had decided to lead their own lives rather than just going with the flow, which seemed so empowering at a time when I felt crushed by the office environment that I worked in.

How can you find leaders that help you to feel inspired, empowered and hopeful? Firstly, I think it’s important to consider what you think makes a great leader. Here are some of the qualities that I think are important:

  • Connecting with people and giving them a voice, an opportunity to be heard

  • Creating an inclusive and safe environment

  • Decision-making by taking responsibility

  • Taking action led by grounded values

  • Recognising mistakes and being open to learning from the experience

  • Building trust

  • Nurturing and encouraging other people to learn and grow

  • Being present with people

  • Speaking from the heart

  • Being open to meaningful change

  • Showing confidence that is grounded by experience

Once you know what you’re looking for in leadership, then I think it’s much easier to find it. If it’s currently absent from your life, where can you explore? I believe that there are many great leaders out there, but they may not be in the most obvious places or have “leader” associated with their title.

These questions might be helpful in thinking about it. This year, what do you want to:

  • learn about?

  • overcome?

  • feel empowered to do?

Who can help you to do this? Then you get to choose your leader!

What’s the impact of great leadership?

More than anything, being under the wing of great leadership has helped my confidence and given me the tools to find a sense of direction with my life. Mountain Leaders have encouraged and inspired me to learn new skills, Coaches have nurtured my personal development and helped me to take action to back-up my decisions, and Mentors have answered questions to guide my next steps.

I think that we often feel so let-down by the leaders who fall into our lives that we give up. Our trust in them gets knocked and it can seem like there’s no one else to turn to for help. But, through my own experience, I know that you can feel inspired and empowered again. You just have to look in different places, meet new people, and get adventurous with your approach. I believe that great leaders are more than role models to look up to. They can fundamentally help to facilitate meaningful change and to rediscover hope in your life.


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