Applying Leadership to Everyday Life

Leadership can be clean-cut and straight forward in specific settings. In a work environment or other place with strictly designated tasks and responsibilities, leadership seems simple. In these settings, leadership is often confused with good delegating. In everyday life, leadership can be a little more nebulous.

Everyday leadership is one of those qualities that can be hard to define but is easily recognizable when you are in the presence of an expert. So how do some people exude this skill with such ease? Practice.

Everyday leadership is a skill. Like any skill, you can hone it and perfect it.


What is Everyday Leadership?

Everyday leadership is the ability to motivate and inspire those around you regardless of the setting. It does not matter where an everyday leader is or who they are with: an everyday leader can make anyone feel empowered.

For everyone, the example of how this looks in practice will be slightly different. This difference is caused in part by our differing experiences with people. When you think of an everyday leader, you likely think of someone who personally impacted your daily life. This individual might not be famous or traditionally successful; that doesn’t mean, however, that they are not an ideal everyday leader.


Characteristics of an Everyday Leader

When you think of an example of an everyday leader, the person you’re thinking of likely has the following qualities:

  • Humility
  • Passion
  • Empathy
  • Courage

These are four of the cornerstones of leadership in general. They apply to everyday leadership as well. If you have a practice for reinforcing these qualities at work, try adapting them to fit your life outside as well.

One important note about these characteristics, none of them are focused on bettering only one individual. This point is essential. People are motivated when they feel that others are not only working for their personal best interest, but they are invested in others as well.


Everyday Leadership in Practice

There are some simple ways to work a bit of everyday leadership into your life. For one, practice empathy with everyone, which means not getting upset if clerks, waiters, or cashiers are not behaving in a manner you expect (maybe they are new or having a rough day). Everyday leadership also means pursuing your passions and encouraging others to pursue theirs. If you are passionate about political issues, get involved, and invite likeminded friends to join. This same idea works for most any interest. It also works in reverse. If someone you know started something, they are excited about, listen, get involved, or otherwise support them. Sometimes, everyday leadership is a question of being a part of a reliable support system.

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