How Are You Committed to Everyday Leadership?

by  Mary C. Schaefer  |  Self Leadership
How Are You Committed To Everyday Leadership?

This phrase popped in my head the other day: everyday leadership. You can demonstrate personal leadership without the title. At the Lead Change Group, we are all about that.

It’s easy to underestimate the way we lead our own lives or inspire others. A seemingly small gesture of support or a word of encouragement can make such a difference.

I asked my community of colleagues what they do, or aspire to do, in daily life that displays everyday leadership. Check out this inspiration for your everyday leadership.

You Can’t Afford For Compassion To Be Inconvenient

There is no one way to express everyday leadership. From a colleague and fellow local entrepreneur, Chris, it means, “Showing compassion, even when it might hurt today’s execution!” That’s a tough one. How do you balance treating humans at work humanly, and still get the work done?

Make Sure Other Are Heard

Christine Odunlami, an aspiring HR professional, told me this: “I exercise leadership by helping and encouraging everyone’s opinion and presence to be welcomed openly. I believe that everyone in a team has valuable input – and I aim to allow a positive space for input to be voiced and recognized.”

What a gift. Our world is in such a hurry. It can be difficult to find a space to voice your much-needed opinion. Thank goodness Christine is working to make room for you.

Service With Integrity & Trust

A fellow Lead Change Group instigator, Jeffrey Heinichen says he aims to lead every day like this. “Through service to others with integrity and trust, through the changes that are occurring daily, with no regard to who gets the credit.” Yes, humility and integrity play a big role.

Stand Up For Someone Else

Paula Kiger, the gifted and resourceful coordinator of our online Lead Change presence, reminds us that everyday leadership can play out like this. “It can happen in any age group or environment. Having seen my share of bullying behaviors among my kids’ peers, I would say it can be something as simple as a kid saying to another kid who is being unkind: “Hey, lay off him, let’s go get a snack (or whatever diversion works).” Good idea! Everyday leadership can occur at any age and in just about any circumstance. Adults can learn from this example too.

Put Judgment Aside

Another fellow instigator and advocate of unconditional positive regard, Jane Perdue, put it this way. “I see everyday leadership as being kind, giving people the benefit of the doubt, and seeking to understand rather than judging. Embracing vulnerability.” Thank you, Jane. Your example continues to inspire me.

Everyday leadership Of Myself, My life & Others

Lead Change instigator Page Cole makes it easy for us with a list. To Page, everyday leadership means that his day is a success if he’s done one of the following:

  1. Learned something new.
  2. Looked for someone to encourage or help.
  3. Invested in the success of some person or organization beyond me.
  4. Belly laughed.

Acknowledge The Invisible.

What’s my own personal goal for everyday leadership? It may be a stretch to call this leadership, but it is my goal for every person I encounter, to make their day better because they ran into me. I particularly like to acknowledge those that may seem invisible in our daily lives.

Examples for me are people who provide services. Like the clerk behind a cafe counter or the person keeping a parking lot clean. I want them to know they matter, at least to me.

Have you witnessed everyday leadership recently? Tell us about it…

About The Author

Articles By mary-schaefer
Speaker, coach and trainer Mary Schaefer’s expertise is in creating work cultures where organizations and human beings can both thrive. She is a former HR manager. Find out more about how Mary helps managers empower themselves to make the most of their human resources with this special collection of articles selected for LCG readers: http://www.reimaginework.com/LCG/  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

Page Cole  |  08 Apr 2015  |  Reply

I love watching members of my team do the little things as well… encourage one of our the upset family members of our clients, or challenge one of our staff to step up to the plate, or even purposefully go out of their way to do something to build up one of their team mates. Thanks for the article, and reminding us that leadership ought to be an everyday thing!

Mary C. Schaefer  |  08 Apr 2015  |  Reply

Great examples, Page. Thanks for adding!

Jane Perdue  |  10 Apr 2015  |  Reply


Honored and touched by your kind and generous words. Wouldn’t the world be a lovelier and more friendly place if we had enough pixie dust to share all your concepts with everyone?!

With a smile,


Mary C. Schaefer  |  10 Apr 2015  |  Reply

Jane, we will make a difference and we are making a difference. I was reminded of this when I saw this familiar quotation on a tv show this week:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good [people] to do nothing.”
– Edmund Burke

Let’s keep doing *something* :)

John E. Smith  |  11 Apr 2015  |  Reply


Nice. Very nice.

I would take issue with this statement, however:

“It may be a stretch to call this leadership, but it is my goal for every person I encounter, to make their day better because they ran into me.”

This is no stretch, but a great way to frame in simple and clear language what being a servant leader is all about.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom and that of the others … we are all better off for you having done so.


Mary C. Schaefer  |  11 Apr 2015  |  Reply

Thank you so much for your comments, John. You are right. I should not underestimate my aspiration. I am very familiar with servant leadership and it IS my goal every day.

Thanks for chiming in!

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