Don’t just lead by example, live by example!
There are moments in life when you pause for a moment and reflect on what has happened over the last years, what you have accomplished and which moments marked you. In this article I would like to share just such a moment with you and end with a little food for thought.
I recently attended the Forbes 30 Under 30 summit in Boston. It was a gathering of over 5000 people (under and over 30) from all over the world. Forbes put together an impressive program (Richard Branson, Jessica Alba, Ashton Kutcher – to name only a few speakers). I must admit that before going I was skeptical about me being there. I didn’t picture myself among all these “change makers”, “rule breakers”, “innovators”, “inspirational leaders”. I mean, let’s be honest, I neither found a cure for cancer nor did I come up with the next Uber. But I had bought the tickets, booked an Airbnb, and I was quite excited to attend such a huge conference. Moreover, I don’t believe that I will land again on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list before I turn 30 – I’m not pessimistic only realistic. And so, off I went!
Now is the time to share a secret with you (drum roll…): when you attend such an event, nobody is going to question if you deserve to or should be there. Everybody tells you how great and amazing your project is and wishes you all the best for it. Now, it’s true that there were many Americans and they tend to find everything “awesome” and “great”. Generally speaking I have nothing against that, but it is kind of a pleasant feeling because at one point I actually started believing it myself. Between a meditation session with Deepak Chopra and a presentation by Adam Neumann from WeWork, I had a moment of self-satisfaction. Being a perfectionist and a self-critical person these moments are rare. It was a moment where I thought back about what we have accomplished at Project 668 and how much I care for it.
Project 668 is part of me. The topics of employment, professional development, mental health, youth unemployment, skills gap, Youth Guarantee, work-life balance, recruitment, future world of work and, most recently, change management are subjects I deeply care about. I have a never-ending interest in them. I used to think that eventually I would say: “Ok, enough. Let’s focus on something else”. But this moment hasn’t yet arrived. Maybe because youth unemployment still hasn’t been fought and maybe because I am worried about what will happen with all these young unemployed people. Who will help them to overcome mental health issues? Who will prevent young people from experiencing unemployment? Who will take care of the financial, economic and social burden that this high unemployment rate will cause (or is already causing)? I don’t have an answer and I won’t stop helping others finding a job, sharing my own experience, getting them ready for the job market, empowering them to discover their sparkle until I finally find an answer.
Yes, this is a very idealistic approach but then again, who is going to do it? I am not saying I am going to solve the European youth unemployment crisis; I am not a megalomaniac after all. However, I feel that each and every one of us has a responsibility to give something back, to share, to inspire, to create. It can be getting up in the metro to leave your seat to an elderly person, lending your colleague a helping hand, being there for your friend. It is amazing to see how much you receive by giving and how great it feels if someone expresses his/her gratitude. It is priceless to me.
Food for thought
Another topic that I forgot to mention in my interest list was leadership. I would have never thought that I would be(come) a leader but here I am leading a team of 10 people. And as there is always room for improvement, I keep reading articles on leadership and there’s one simple leadership rule that I would like to share with you: “Lead by example”. It’s definitely not always an easy goal to accomplish but then again it is applicable to so many other areas. So why not go one step further and turn it into “Live by example”?
Be the inspiration you want to see in the world, go out there and show the world who you are, how great you are and don’t hide your sparkle. Embrace your talents and be proud of yourself.
Live by example.
by Lidija Globokar
“Don’t just lead by example, live by example!” by Lidija Globokar was originally published on LinkedIn, Nov 20/2016