Mary Ann Radmacher's quote always reminds me of what everyday leadership is all about. Often when we think of leadership we are drawn to the heroic acts of leaders or the acts of individuals for whom history deems leaders due to their behaviour or actions that changed the face of a nation. What exactly are we identifying with? In most cases, it's values that resonate with our own.
Sit back for a moment and think about people in your life that you admire. What qualities and values do these people possess?
I've thought about this often but just like the number of times I've completed my Myers Briggs preferences profile, my answers are always the same. What is more interesting to me is that whilst identifying with high profile leaders for example Aung Sang sui Kyee, Dr Jane Goodall, Malala, to name but a few it is the family women in my life that are my real heroines. My mother and my grandmother are leaders in my life who encompassed the ideal of 'I'll try again tomorrow."
My first ever sleepover was at my grandmother's house but it didn't go to plan. I was so homesick that my grandmother decided that calling my parents to collect me was the best. As my grandmother opened the car door to kiss me goodbye my mother's face said it all. Now, looking back I can see that being woken up in the middle of the night by your mother to collect your daughter was not exactly brownie winning material. My parents wanted nothing more than to get me home so they could get back to bed. What was priceless was my grandmother's response:
"Don't worry, you can come back when you're ready."
My grandmother had left a door open. That single act of kindness was everyday leadership. Her actions said, 'Try again tomorrow." That's the courage of everyday leadership.