Thinking back on the past 30 years, I never really knew much about leadership until the last half of those 30 years. I always thought leadership was something unattainable for me. I thought leadership was something only supervisors and managers were able to attain. I thought it was a role or position in a business and that was where it stopped. At that time, I wasn’t aware that anyone could lead from anywhere.

Most of my life I spent going through motions, doing what others wanted me to do and being the follower rather than the leader. I really didn’t believe I mattered or my life made a difference to anyone. Looking back I can’t believe I went through most of my life doing things to get others to like me rather than finding out what I liked about myself and how I could help others. Instead, I chose to strive to hang out with those who seemed popular.

A change began in me when I realized I had the ability to lead. I was first encouraged to be a leader by someone who didn’t hold a leadership title either. I was encouraged because she believed in me and my abilities. She liked my ideas. She liked what I wanted to do. She encouraged me to do what I wanted to do to help others. From there my confidence grew and I discovered that anyone could be a leader.

Anyone can be a leader. Anyone can make a difference. It just takes a little bit of courage and support from others. It takes a desire to want to make a difference and to know how. We can’t use the excuse anymore that we don’t know how to lead. It starts from within. There are many resources available. Once we begin to want to change, we can reach out and lead others as well.

It happened to me. It can happen to you. Here are some ways to get started:

1. Write down some things you really believe in.
2. List some ways you can make a difference in these areas.
3. Talk with others who will support and encourage you.
4. Begin to take steps toward what you want to do and never give up.

We can begin leading within by mustering up our courage and talking to others about something we want to change. We can set goals to make those changes by finding others who want to make a difference as well. As we grow into leadership, we can bring others along who want to make the same things happen. It can happen and we do have what it takes to be a leader.

What can you to do today to make a difference to others and grow as a leader?