These are the wise words of Steve Jobs, one of the greatest technology leaders and entrepreneurs that ever lived. He highlighted that there is one important voice that we need to pay attention to, our inner voice; this is the true “voice of leadership”
Leadership has never been so exciting and yet so difficult, at the same time. The main reasons for this, is the speed of change creating a fast – paced environment and the information rich age that we live in, which has resulted in a cluttered space of noise.
There is always someone or something calling for our attention which makes it more important to understand how to identify our own voice.
What is the voice of leadership?
Some would describe this as your unique purpose that adds meaning to your life & when you discover it, it will occupy your mind, heart, body and spirit.
It is the ability to use your talents and skills to communicate that you care enough about something that you are willing to take action, knowing that it will make a positive contribution to society or a difference in the world.
It can also be that internal motivation and “gut feeling” that when shared has the power to “light a fire in the hearts of others”.
We have come to realize that that the world is changing at a very rapid pace, surely the style of leadership needed also calls for something different?
An authentic style of leadership.
In Marianne Abib-Pech book called ‘Leadership: How to lead effectively and get results’, she describes the leader of tomorrow as one who is self aware, “They set things in motion because of a deep understanding of who they are”. These leaders because of who they are, do not only inspire with words alone but align the words they speak with action and their message to the world is ultimately to inspire change.
When we think of past leaders who inspired change, who comes to mind? Leaders that come to mind for me are, Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela , Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King. Their lives had a powerful message that impacted of hundreds of thousands of people and changed Nations.
A more recent leader that I had the privilege to meet is ocean advocate Lewis Pugh who swam in icy conditions in the freezing North Pole , to create awareness to protect our oceans and continues to ignite global change. It is also very encouraging to see on the agenda at the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 2016 had Climate Change up for discussion
You can view Lewis Pugh story here.
What all these leaders had in common is they used their voice of who they were & did not stay silent about the things they believed would make a difference.
The good news is we all have a voice!
Each one of us has been given a unique purpose, talents, skill and an opportunity to use our voice and YES, it often requires an act of COURAGE to overcome any challenges, to make a decision and take action but when we do , our positive actions have the ability to shape the future.
It only takes 1 person with 1 voice.
So how do you find that UNIQUE Voice which gives our lives significance and moves us from what Stephen Covey calls effectiveness to greatness! Stephen Covey gives us in his blog the four great questions to get started on your journey that applies to the mind, heart, body and spirit.
- What are you good at?
- What do you love to do?
- What need are you able to serve?
- What is your desire or internal feeling directing you to be doing ?
For some people, the voice of leadership comes suddenly, like a” flash of light” but for others it happens over time.
LEADSA is an organisation who are honouring & recognising people for using their voices of contribution to lead. From recognising people who are teaching dance to reach out to youth or another example is the youth collecting school shoes for the less privileged school children. Just ordinary people like you and me, making a difference to LEAD SA. There are so many inspiring people already using their voices.
Leadership is a lifestyle and the voice of leadership is how you make the difference.
Now that you are equipped with knowledge of finding that voice within, the question is what will you do with this information?
My challenge to you is to not only to discover your unique voice that brings joy, meaning and freedom and connects you to your passion but to let your voice be heard!
It’s up to you how you choose to express it. The next charity may be waiting to open its doors, or the next impactful book is ready to be written.
But start …
Use your voice to inspire change because the world is waiting in anticipation for your voice to be heard!
Online: Stephen Covey Blog