Applied Character-based Leadership

When friends and I began talking about character-based leadership on LinkedIn and Twitter and as the group was beginning to grow, we each had different ideas about how to "apply" character-based leadership.  How could we actually make a difference?  How do we actually make the connection between our social-media interactions and our real-life world?

In late July 2009, Erin Schreyer launched Authentic Leadership in Cincinnati.  The group took off because Cincinnati seems to be a great community for authentic, character-based leadership.  They're very connected with some large local networking groups already established on LinkedIn.  They also have a large Character Council.  They have held several meetings and this past week, they hosted a panel discussion on diversity over lunch last Friday.

Last Tuesday, Lead Change Tulsa met for the first time.  Over 20 people attended with several sending last minute regrets.  We discussed a shared desire to make a difference in the community.  We all believe that other-focused leadership can inspire a community to make itself better.  We can grow as leaders by taking responsibility and bringing our best self to the workplace or church or wherever and investing in the lives of people around us.  We will grow and develop as leaders and we will earn influence as we actively invest in our friends, co-workers and neighbors.  As we model what we believe we improve our world and we encourage others to do the same thing.

We committed to keep going.  We scheduled a meeting on May 18 to discuss our focus, our definition of success, and how we can begin to get to work.  We talked about several ways we could help organizations by making leadership material and opportunities available for emerging leaders, especially in organizations too small to have internal training programs.  What will we do? We will definitely do something. Too many people are too committed. You can find out more by checking out Lead Change Tulsa's community meetup page.

What about you?  Will you just wish your community was different or will you actually do something?  You don't need to start a Lead Change group.  Find one doing the same things and join them.  Part of my passion is connecting groups that are already working on the problems that result from selfish, ego-centered leadership. If you're already doing that, please comment below on how I (or anyone else) can help you.  Never underestimate your own ability to make a difference.  Our world needs you to step up.  Go for it.