The Leader's Calling

Professionally, I have worked for well over thirty years in the field of leadership development, developing leaders in businesses of all kinds, even in non-profits and in religious organizations too.
In addition, as a career coach, I am also a believer and a proponent in the idea of a "calling," a purpose that expresses your talents and passions here in this Life.
My colleague Nick Heap calls it your "core process:"
"Core Process starts from the idea that, when we are made, we have a job to do, a unique and specific job that fits you, that you were designed to do. When you do it, it goes astonishingly well, you are happy and energized, and you feel the most alive. Your core process shows you what you are here on the planet to do. Core Process is simply a way of describing what your job is, your purpose, your central and unique talent."
My colleague John Scherer says that your calling has an inside and an outside:
On the inside are "your natural abilities - skills you really enjoy using and things you enjoy doing; you just feel good, love doing it, you can’t get enough of it. Something that just has to be expressed - otherwise you feel incomplete, unhappy, bored or you feel the tension.
On the outside is the difference you want to make in the world."
As you can see, the pursuit of your calling is no small thing. I'm convinced that the person who finds their calling has one of the keys to happiness and success.
So in this post, I am bringing these two things together, and am wondering: What is the Leader's Calling?
Let me start by laying a few foundational ideas:
Anyone can be a leader. It's a choice, not a position.
Leaders can come from anywhere in an organization, community, or system.
Leadership is the capability of turning ideas into action by influencing others toward goals.
So then: What is the Leader's Calling?
In a word, it is Change.
The late Warren Bennis, one the seminal thinkers on the topic of leadership, once defined it as "the capacity to turn vision into reality."
In other words, to envision and effect a change.
If you feel, deep within yourself, the burning desire to change something in the World around you, you are experiencing the Leader's Calling.
It could be an injustice that needs to be addressed. It could be "the cry of the poor" that needs to be heard and answered.
It could be a new product that will make living easier in some way.
It could be a new song, poem, or work of art that will lift people's eyes and spirits to a better view of things.
Are you hearing the call to make the world a better place in some way?
That's the Leader's Calling.
Don't ignore it. Heed the call.
Terrence Seamon can help develop your organization's leaders. Follow him on twitter @tseamon

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