When we hear the word “Leader”, what comes to mind? Is it someone you envision on a pedestal with a loud speaker and rigid tone? Is it something you see as dramatic or flashy? Well Polly A. Fitz says leadership is quite the opposite of that glorifying imagine. Her discussion with the ADA House of Delegates explained that “Leadership in a modest sense-ie., leadership with a lower-case “l” is far more prevalent and far more important than most people realize”. What a humbling idea, I thought to myself. Leadership isn't about making the rules, but making things work. Leadership isn't all about curricular intelligence, but emotional intelligence, optimism, and the ability to adapt in different situations and environments. Leadership can be all the complex work that no one wants to claim, but you take with no hesitation. Polly continues her statement and adds that the most effective leaders were not focused on micromanaging others. Effective leaders were encouraging, empathetic, and always had futuristic thinking. To a great leader, it was never about the “I”, but a magnification on the “we”. While some people may seem to be “born leaders’, don't be discouraged! Leaders are born and made. The beauty of the little “l” in leader really signifies that there is not just one individual with all of the responsibility, but a shared responsibility of a group. Each containing their strengths and weaknesses building one another to be the greatest leaders they can be.
Escott-Stump, Sylvia A. (2014). Leadership with a Little “L”. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics , 114 (5), S6.DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2014.02.020