Whether we have given this much thought or not, many of us are leaders; in our place of work, in ministry/voluntary work, in the home. We make decisions; quick ones and those that require days or even months of deliberating.
The more confident of people are happy to take the lead when situations arise. They may not have the answer but they are willing to work towards finding a solution. We all know that one person who always rises to the challenge – perhaps it is you! The less confident of people will stand back and allow others to make decisions or find solutions as it is means they are not required to do anything. This is likely to be a result of having a lack of confidence and/or being struck with a condition called laziness.
Throughout the day we are make decisions consciously and sub-consciously. Deciding what to wear,to cook, what time to go into town. Even choosing to do nothing is in fact a decision!
I often joke to my husband when we are planning family holidays that I have absolutely no interest in self-catering accommodation. I want to be fully catered for and why not? In my day-to-day life I am making decisions at work, church, running the home, rearing young children, cooking until it goes out of fashion. Whilst on holiday I only want to think along the lines of;
“What am I going to eat?”
“What am I going to wear?”
“”What excursion are we going on today?”
Surely this is why people holiday – for a break!
Back to taking the lead, it comes naturally to some and others have to work hard at it. If you observe a group of young children playing or working on a project, you will without a doubt spot one or two that take the lead. When my daughter attended pre-school she had a good friend who was rather similar to her – strong headed. They were like two peas in a pod when they got along and spent the remainder of the time at loggerheads. This was inevitable since they were both of strong character.
Unlike my daughter I was far more introverted as a child. I knew my own mind and always have done but was quiet with it. I have had to work on taking the lead, often deliberately stepping up in situations in order to develop my skills and offer my contribution. I take on opportunities which push me completely out of my “safe” zone and the results are usually positive. My confidence grows each time whilst self-doubt reduces.
To end, ownership means you resist “passing the buck”, it means accepting you have a part to play in finding a solution, it means you can be relied on when the challenges come.
Do you take the lead? Is it second nature to you or an area you have developed?
How would you encourage someone who struggles to take the lead?
What would you advise someone who takes on too much ownership, stepping on toes in the process?