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What does it mean to be a leader?

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Leadership no longer relies purely on management skills and the ability to get others to follow you. It goes so much deeper than that.

What is it about certain people we know that makes them truly inspiring as a leader? Is it their business sense? Is it their ability to bring in revenue? Or is it their complete and total conviction in what they do and their focus on coming from the heart.

I’m willing to bet it’s the latter.

The world doesn’t want leaders who push the numbers. The world wants leaders who come from the heart and put people as their central focus. Not only with the people they lead, but with the people who are impacted by the work they do and the businesses they create.

We are drawn to leaders who are heart-centered, purposeful, and compassionate. They come from a place of serving others and are courageous in how they make that a central focus in the world.

It can feel scary to come from a place of service and generosity in leadership, especially when we’ve seen the role models before us do it so differently. In my own experience, I’ve understood what it feels like to be led by people who are so focused on results that they forget to bring out the innate talents in their people. They insist that their team members fulfill their job description and maximize the impact of their work.

These “leaders” have completely lost the map on the fact that the more your people can do work they love and feel fulfilled every day, the more heart and passion they bring to their job, and the greater impact they can have on your business’ mission as well as your organization as a whole. Every leader’s mission should be to ensure that their team has what they need to feel purposeful and connected to the mission of their organization – in a way that feels personal – so that they can bring their enthusiasm, joy, excitement, intelligence, and energy to work every day.

You want these passionate, purpose-driven, people by your side reminding you what it takes to lead today – and what it will take to lead the new future we are building.

I struggle with these questions daily as I build my own business which is principally centered around empowering leaders. The entire focus of my business is on the people that I serve and the impact I create. And I too face the fear of making decisions that take my focus away from revenue generation – even while knowing intellectually that this is truly the only way to lead with purpose and conviction.

So many doubts and questions come to mind. What if I focus only on service and the numbers don’t back me up? How do I let go of profit-focus to truly put people front and center? How do I make sure that I’m always truly coming from my heart?

I know that when I come from my heart, magic unfolds. I can create in a day what would ordinarily take a week, or sometimes even a month. And the results are beautiful. It is when I get the most external feedback that my work is amazing, or people are inspired by me. It’s when I feel most proud of what I create.

When I am aligned and on-purpose I build the future I want to live in. When I come from fear or scarcity, I find it difficult to know which was is north and which is south. I cannot lead myself, or others, to be their best selves when I’m not fully aligned and convinced of the work I am doing.

This is the role of a leader in 2020 – to find their connection within themselves so that they can do work that has meaning and serves the people they wish to reach.

If you are reading this and feeling disconnected to your own purpose and conviction in your work, ask yourself:

  • How am I being of service?
  • What impact am I creating?
  • What could I do to become more heart-centered?

Amanda is an Online Leadership Coach who helps leaders connect to their inner essence and purpose to do more meaningful and impactful work in the world.

If you are ready to be the best leader you know, download the 5 Ways to Be a Better Leader for free!