On this Martin Luther Kind Jr. Day 2024, we're going back to basics. Please remember, your actions, words and thoughts don't just affect you...they are the reference and guide your followers use for their actions, words and thoughts.
For the next little while, as we start 2024, I’m going to be focused on some “Back to Basics” Kind Leadership topics.
Back to Basics 1: It's easy to think you aren't a leader. But you are. Even if you don't have a formal leadership title or role within your organization. Everyone (and that includes you!) has people who follow and look up to them at work, at home and in the community. People who use your actions, words and thought processes as a guide for how they should act, speak and think. Not sure who follows you? Then please take a look around and make a list of people who you see acting in similar ways to you, repeating words and phrases you often use, and who have taken up the same worldview.
Back to Basics 2: People "follow their leaders". Please remember that as a leader, your followers (staff, employees, team-members, kids, people on social media or whatever you call them) do as you do, say what you say, and think how you think. Kind or not.
If you bully people, that is what they will do.
If you use demeaning and denigrating words, so will they.
If you think that others viewpoints are useless and wrong when they are different from yours, that is how those who follow you will learn to think.
So, please be conscious and mindful of what you do, say and think. Others are watching and listening to you. They are learning and repeating what you do, say and how you think.
So…Act kindly, speak kindly and think kindly...so that you lead with kindness.
When you help and lift people up, that is what those you lead will learn to do.
When you compliment instead of criticize, not only will people grow and blossom, your kind words will be the words they share with others.
When you think that others and other points of view have much to offer you, you will learn and grow, and model that way of thinking too.
You are a leader, and your actions, words and thoughts matter.
Today, MLK Day 2024, please take a few moments of introspection and reflect on your actions, words and thoughts. Then make the commitment to lead with kindness...and activate others to do so as well!