As the economy recovers, more and more tweets and blog posts and Facebook notes are focused on the concept of leadership. It may be mentioned outright or it may be referred to in other terms, but the world is interested in how this thing we call leadership works.
How does it work? What is it? Who is the best person to define it?
As children, we look to our Moms and Dads for leadership. It's in our nature as human beings, however, to defy our parents (even as small children we push the limits as much as possible), leading, when we become adults, to either open defiance against the leaders in our world, or passive defiance - joining groups and communities to present a collective presence.
Within that process, leaders emerge who do good, or bad, who struggle to achieve something useful, and fail. The leaders who create the right followers: passionate, strong, outspoken, determined, inspired, talented men and women, are the leaders we hear the most about. These are the leaders we, as the community of man (and woman), look to when we want answers to those age-old questions: For instance: What is the meaning of life? Why do bad things happen to good people? Who would do such a thing (in instances of outrageous crime)? Who is smarter: men or women? (and does it matter?)
As you were reading this post, when the word 'leader' or 'leadership' showed up, what images appeared in your brain? There is no doubt you thought of specific people - you remembered or recalled or allowed yourself to accept, the image of one or more people who represent leadership to you.
Here's my question: How many of them were women?
Here is today's message: Do not believe the writers who say women still have a long way to go. In truth, we arrived long ago. Just ask one Mary Kay skincare consultant.
Do not believe the blog posts, or news broadcasts, or specials that say women are still hitting a glass ceiling. The glass ceiling is a male produced idea - to intimidate women. It never existed. Do not allow anyone to deceive you into thinking women have not held leadership positions throughout time. Because we have. Even the Bible says so.
As Forbes and Fortune, two established and respected business magazines like to tout the Top 50 Women in Business every year, I like to tout the top women in life - the women who lead all of us by their presence, their persistence, their caring, their nurturing, their intelligence, their giving natures, their determination in world politics and in saving Mother Earth, their risk-taking abilities, their challenging of the status quo, and their willingness to stand up and be counted, right or wrong, behind the scenes or in front. These are the women who lead us - who deserve our applause. I will follow these women anywhere.
To my female readers: You are one of those women. I applaud you.