Three Ways We Are All Everyday Leaders

Coaching leadership

In his famous TedTalk called “Everyday Leadership,” Drew Dudley contends that we are all leaders because we constantly influence others.  Even our smallest acts have a big impact.  Dudley recounts a story when he inadvertently changed a stranger’s life by asking someone to present her with a lollipop.  Years later, she identifies this moment as a turning point when she decided to stay at the university and went on to date the man with the lollipop. Do we all lead others without realizing it?  Three ways we are all everyday leaders include: our attitude towards our work’s mission, our personal optimism, and the way we encourage others.

Way 1: We Lead by Our Attitude Towards Our Work’s Mission

In any team, there are those who truly believe in the mission of their work and others who are there only for the paycheck.  Psychology Today defines an everyday leader as “an individual who, regardless of formal title or authority, influences others to achieve shared objectives for the good of the collective.”  When we believe in the work we are doing, we work with purpose, and this influences those around us.  “A supervisor with this trait can instill it in others,” says Indeed for Employers. “When they draw satisfaction from achieving goals and helping their employers succeed, they can more easily show their direct reports how they fit into everything.  Employees gain more perspective and see that they matter too.  In turn, they may no longer see assignments as busy work or boxes to check off, but as another way they’re helping the company succeed.”  

The expression of value in our work does not have to come from a supervisor only.  It comes from any person who displays this attitude every day.  A single comment about the purpose of the work speaks volumes to everyone else around us.  

Way 2: We are Everyday Leaders through our Optimism

From the moment we get up, we each have a choice whether we will make it a good day.  If we choose to take an optimistic spin to our day, this will spill over to others.  It does not take a lot to demonstrate positivity.  Think about both actions and words.  It can be as easy as smiling when walking by someone else.  It can be choosing to speak positively about the weather rather than shrugging in defeat when it’s only lunchtime. It is being genuinely glad to see someone else, listen to them, and form relationships.  “Being an everyday leader means taking responsibility for your actions, displaying positive character traits, forming relationships, problem solving, being empathetic and inclusive, taking initiative, and positively impacting others,” says Shahid Khan of LinkedIn.

Way 3: We are Everyday Leaders when we Encourage Others

When we believe in someone else and point out their strengths, we empower that person to be the best version of him/herself.  People can tell if you truly care about them or care only about advancing your own career.  Everyday leaders empower others to take charge of their lives through relationship building.  This means walking in someone else’s shoes and listening to their day to day struggles.  Encouraging others has a ripple effect and can majorly impact your company’s culture as described in this blog by Artemis Consultants.  Everyday leaders are people others want to follow.

Can you think of someone in your company who leads others but is not in an official leadership role?  Why are others drawn to this person?  

As you apply for a job or look for a new hire, think about everyday leadership qualities.   

-Written exclusively for Artemis Consultants by Business Content Writer Mellody Melville

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