Whether we aspire to lead others or not, we all lead.
Whether we recognize it or not, we are all led.
The way we lead is influenced by the ways we are led.
Do you see any of these influences in your life?:
Control of every detail
Self-inflation (also known as narcissism)
Insecurity and indecision
Acceptance or promotion of toxic attitudes and behaviors
If you see these in someone who is leading you, what can you do?
Self-assessment: often we take on the influences around us without realizing. Addressing a negative in myself starts the process of changing it in my environment.
Understanding: learn all you can about the causes and sources of these negatives. The answer is seldom as simple as intentional malevolence. Usually everyone is doing the best they can with what they have.
Communication: changing how we communicate with those who lead us can often address negative influences, either by highlighting an unseen need in the other or by adjusting perspective in us.
Community: if possible, involve someone else besides the two of you to help you both learn and grow. I have learned more by assuming that the issue is with me than I have by pointing fingers at another, and that process has always been helped by outside input (coaching, mentoring, counseling).
If you see one or more of those negatives in your own life:
Awareness is half the battle. Toxicity is usually invisible to the one affected.
Awareness fosters desire to learn and change.
Desire can overcome the temptation to isolate, justify, or shift blame.
If desire for change is lacking, relational pain will increase to promote movement!
Relational pain is only resolved relationally, often with the help of skilled outside input.
May the leaders in your life be increasingly healthy, influencing your leadership of others to constantly increase and improve.
May you lead yourself well in light of all these factors: YOU are the most consistent leadership voice to which you listen.