When referring to leadership, there is an inherent expectation of strength. In regards to teams, the leader of the team is the one to provide the guidance and the power when necessary. What about those times when it is not formal leadership? For example, a friend calls who is in crisis and needs help. You are a friend, peer, and equal with this person; although at that moment, you are subconsciously lifted into a position of leadership. How do you handle that type of situation? This recently happened with me, so I am writing from a personal perspective. A friend needed help, and I was the one she asked for support. I didn’t think about it at that moment, but looking back, I am so honored and humbled that she would think of me in that time of crisis. Her comment was I would provide strength. My only comment was that I wouldn’t let her down. This scenario led me to think about sharing on the topic of strength.
Not only in our organizations and our business teams do we look for and need leadership. We need it in our personal lives as well. When we have the honor of being able to help and support others, we are de facto leaders in their lives, which is not a responsibility to take lightly, although it is different than being a team leader. Leadership in this context has to be much more influential and subtle. The truth is, people can and will do what they choose to do. This is a big point – while I am going to be the solid, dependable, constant friend, I cannot take on her burden for her; unfortunately, it is hers to handle. I think we try to assume too much during some of these situations, which can lead to disaster for all parties. We, as leaders in others’ lives, especially during crisis times, can only provide advice and support to help our friends walk down their own path in life. In my opinion, part of being in a friendship is our willingness to be there as that support and provide that strength for others when they cannot do it themselves.
CEO, The Professional Development Team