By: Erika Petrelli Bayh | Article from 2022 Summer CLT Magazine

Author/Motivational Speaker, The Leadership Program, erika@tlpnyc.com

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard someone say some version of “Oh, I’m not the leader, so I can’t…” or “I’m not a leader; I could never…” As if there is just one way to be a leader. As if only a certain select few are leaders, while the rest of us are not. And I just simply disagree.

I believe that all of us are leaders- every single one of us. Our leadership just shows up differently.

Some of us are leaders in the traditional way that many of us think of when we hear the term: The kind of leaders that stand in front of the room, that rally the crowd, that carry a bullhorn. Others are leaders in the quiet way. We move a task or a project forward, ensuring all the boxes get checked, and demonstrate by example what needs to get done. Some of us are leaders in the courageous way by sharing our flaws and vulnerabilities out loud. In doing so, it give others permission to do the same. Others lead in a loving way so that we remember our team members’ birthdays and notice when someone seems distracted or sad. We feel the energy of the room, and tend to it.

Our leadership is in our impact.    

Impacts can be what we have on others, on our projects, on our teams. Everything in which we are a part of, we influence. Whether we realize it or not.

Let me say that again: everything in which we are a part of, we influence. Think about your relationships, your teams, your projects, the places where you work/live/play. How do you show up? That’s your leadership.   

So, the real question is not “Are you a leader?”. The question is, “What kind of leader are you?” and “What do you want your impact to be?”. And if you, for even a moment, think “What kind of impact could I possibly have?” or “What difference do I even make?”, let me say this—and please listen closely: You matter in so many ways that you will never ever know.

You have made a difference in more people’s days, and lives than will ever be measured. You’ll never see the reach of it, so you just have to believe it.

That funny meme you scrolled past that made you laugh so hard. You immediately shared it with five of your friends? The person that wrote that meme had an impact on you, yet will never know it.

That smile you thoughtlessly tossed at the person you walked past in the tight aisle of the grocery store was like water in a dry desert for them, and brought them a kind of relief that they wouldn’t be able to explain if they tried- and will never see you again to tell you.

We could play this game for hours: the strangers that impacted you without even realizing it (for good and for bad). As you start to remember the many ways and places that you were impacted, you have to stop and wonder: How many people are playing that same game and naming YOU as the stranger?

So what about the people you actually know? The people you see regularly? The people with whom you can choose your impact?

It kind of blows my mind when I think about all the moments in which I have a choice to impact someone’s day. All the moments that matter so much. There are 1,440 minutes in every day. Now sure, you’re going to whittle away a lot of those by sleeping, eating, going to the bathroom, taking showers and navigating traffic…. But that still leaves a LOT of minutes for you to choose.   

Your leadership is in your impact. What kind of impact do you have? That’s your choice. So, what’s your choice?

What kind of leader will you be today?

Join Keynote Speaker and Educational Session Presenter Erika Petrelli Bayh at the 16th Annual Leadership on Broadway Experience! Register TODAY!