YOU DON'T WANT TO BE THE LEADER
Most people don't want to be recognized as the authority. Some people reject the idea so strongly that they would rather deny the necessity for any type of leadership than to assume responsibility for the actions of others.
No matter strongly you might feel about your own personal need for authority, the fact is, there are people around you who definitely need direction. Things need to be done in order for you to accomplish and maintain progress, both personally and as a group. I get a glimpse of how important this is every day, as I teach Spanish to elementary school students. The inescapable reality is, the only thing they really want to do is play. Furthermore, the younger they are, the more they want to play. But my mission is to teach them Spanish and I only have about three hours a week for classroom instruction. Since I am the only person in the room who speaks Spanish, it is clearly up to me "call the play." So, we clap, chant, sing, read and write. Sometimes, we even draw! Bit by bit, they learn Spanish.
You may not be a classroom teacher but you get the gist and can come to the same conclusion within the context of your own life. It doesn't really matter if you're an entrepreneur, a professional, a parent or a priestess; it is a bit obvious that you need to establish expert authority in your circle of greatest influence. That is, people need to know that you're going to assume responsibility for maintaining your area of expertise in a way that benefits the group. As you are able to do so, you will also provide a powerful platform on which to build all other development initiatives. For example, as a Spanish teacher, I could also organize study abroad experiences or publish supplemental learning materials.
Because establishing authority is a process, you are liable to experience many developmental phases. At every phase, however, you can expect to have some kind of trouble positioning yourself and developing leadership influence. What follows is a set of key skill sets and strategies to consider in regards to establishing authority in your circles of greatest influence:
Technology, Organization & Planning, Empowerment and Flexibility are all parts of one system, YOUR system. You'll first have to grapple with building a system that works for you. Gradually, you'll increase your authority as you learn to build systems. Eventually, as you optimize it, your system will enable you to get things done, AND have more time to focus on the things you do best.
So, what can you do to position yourself as an authority? Start by evaluating your true competitive advantage and how you solve important problems for the people you serve. Once you get clear about that, you can map out a system that supports your natural gifts and talents. If you refuse to create a system and establish your authority, the people within your circle of influence will suffer. Marianne Williamson said it perfectly:
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
Over time and with consistent effort, momentum will build, and you will start to catalog a collection of useful content, that might include assets like videos, blog posts, podcast or radio show interviews, or even your own published book.
Do you need help establishing your authority? Let me show you how!
Live the Medicine
Obafemi Origunwa, MA
Thought leader, Ifa priest and author of four definitive books, Obafemi Origunwa inspires metamorphosis through living the medicine that will heal your life and heal the lives of the people you're destined to serve.