3 Examples of Everyday Leadership in Action
When I’m speaking on Leadership to groups of college students and young professionals, I’m often asked about specific paths to leadership when their lack of experience may be a barrier in consideration for leadership positions. At the top of my list of advice is getting involved in Leadership through community and civic involvement. You don’t have to be a CEO, Corporate Executive, Entrepreneur, President of an Organization, etc to be a leader. If your actions are inspiring others to learn more, do more and become more, you are a Leader! This is what we call Everyday Leadership.
Everyday Leadership is demonstrated by those who want to do great things for the community and are excited to use their talents to do just that! I’ve listed 3 examples of people I think are great examples of Everyday Leadership because of the way they are committed to making change in the communities. They are leading the way by helping others to live better lives!
1.) Mitch Albom of Detroit, MI –Mitch Albom is an internationally renowned and best-selling author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster and musician. His books have collectively sold more than 35 million copies worldwide; have been published in forty-nine territories and in forty-five languages around the world; and have been made into Emmy Award-winning and critically acclaimed television movies. Albom has also founded 8 non-profit charity organizations in the Detroit area! The organizations include S.A.Y. Detroit, S.A.Y. Detroit Health Clinic in partnership with the Detroit Rescue Mission, A Time To Help, Working Families/Working Homes, A Hole in the Roof Foundation, The Heart of Detroit, and the Detroit Dream Scholars. The work he is doing in the city of Detroit is outstanding! Mitch Albom is an example of Everyday Leadership in Action!
2.) Becca Stevens of Magdelene House and Thistle Stop Cafe in Nashville, TN – Becca Stevens is one of the premier preachers and speakers in the United States proclaiming love as the most powerful force for social change. She is an Episcopal priest and founder of Magdalene, residential communities of women who have survived prostitution, trafficking and addiction. She founded Thistle Farms in 2001 which currently employs nearly 50 residents and graduates, and houses a natural body care line, a paper and sewing studio and the Thistle Stop Café. She demonstrates that love is good business and raises millions of dollars annually for the organizations she runs. I’ve heard personal testimonies from women who are in a significantly better place today because they were able to find a safe haven at Magdalene and chart a new course for their lives while there. I frequent the Thistle Stop Cafe in Nashville for coffee, pastries, sandwiches, etc and always feel good about supporting such an awesome organization. Becca Stevens is an example of Everyday Leadership in Action!
3.) Halle Berry – We all know Halle Berry as the beautifully talented Oscar Award Wining Hollywood Actress. You may not, however, be as familiar with her involvement with the Jenesse Center in Los Angeles. The Jenesse Center is a Los Angeles Based Women’s Shelter with 6 locations around the city. The center provides a safe place for women and their children who are getting away from domestic violence situations. For the past 10+ years, Halle Berry has been involved with this center. A couple of years ago, she became the Chairperson of the center’s annual giving campaign. She acknowledges that the women who arrive at the shelter are dealing with much bigger issues than being concerned that she is “Halle Berry, the Hollywood Actress”. They appreciate that she is a woman who cares for them and whom they can talk to and confide in. Halle Berry is an example of everyday Leadership in action!
What community organization do your admire? Identify a couple and make it a point, this week, to reach out to them to ask about volunteer opportunities. Diligently working in your community is a way to sharpen your leadership skills as well as help others when and where they need it.
— Dr. April
This post is part of a series on Leadership presented by Dr. Carmen April. She is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is currently a 2014 New Leaders Council Fellow – Nashville Chapter. Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on this topic.