When it comes to our toughest challenges, we all have a part to play. Lots of people need to contribute time and energy. Saying “yes” to leadership as an activity means risking your own comfort for the sake of progress on something that matters. If we want to solve our most important challenges, more people need to embrace the idea that anyone and everyone can lead.
Leadership emerged in 1955 when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus. Leadership emerges whenever a new employee asks a question without an easy answer.
Kids are told, “Anyone can be a leader!” They see images of people of all genders, races, and abilities sitting behind a big desk, taking an oath of office, or managing an emergency. Yes, every kid needs to know they can work hard and achieve great things.
But kids (and adults) must also understand that leadership and position are two different things. Kids (and adults) need to know they can exercise leadership whether they have a formal position or not.
Leadership has nothing to do with role. It has everything to do with seeing and seizing moments to help a group move forward.