I’ve always been fascinated by the concept and application of leadership. One thing I’ve learnt in life is leadership is not only possible by those who are super confident, good looking and rich.

If we look closely there are unassuming leaders all around us; some in places which may seem rather unlikely.

Let us look at some of the examples of leaders, who are out there leading this very moment as a guide to how you too can be a leader.

And on what scale you would like to lead is entirely up to you. It can really be that small or that big.

Yes, you did read correctly.

Leaders of local car wash businesses

Over here in the UK, there are a numerous car wash establishments. I have been going to one in particular for the last 7 years. The main reason I go to this one is the people working there are extremely hardworking and are very good at washing my car. Underlying the employees working there is a leader. This individual stands out from the rest. I constantly see him assertively giving instructions to his employees in a language I don’t understand. When customers come, he will smile and have a quick chat with each one to see how they are.

Lessons from this type of leadershipLeaders of local car washes give instructions confidently to their employees and are also the main customer facing person in the organisation.

Religious leaders

If you walk into a Church, a Temple, a Mosque, a Synagogue or any other building of prayer, you will find a leader. This can include individuals such as Vicars, Priests, Imans and Rabbis. Such individuals lead prayers and congregations. Lay people usually look up to such people to lead ceremonies such as christenings, weddings and funerals. People usually feel they can confide and talk about personal matters with such religious leaders.

Lessons from this type of leadership – Religious leaders make themselves available to the people they lead and use their knowledge of certain areas to lead activities, which can have a big impact on people’s lives.

Teachers in schools

Teachers are an extremely important part of a child’s development early on in life and are often strong role models for children. For this reason teachers are natural leaders. The bigger the class the bigger number of children there are to lead.

Lessons from this type of leadership – Teachers have the ability to communicate to large groups and also talk on an individual basis. They can instruct and put their foot down when required if behaviour is not aligned with the discipline they expect.

Life Coaches

Life coaches help people become unstuck from problems, to help them live better and more wholesome lives. A person who has decided to seek help from a life coach is usually willing to take a ‘student’ position and allow the life coach to help her/him.

Lessons from this type of leadership – Life coaches demonstrates their ability to lead through talking a person through their problem and depending on the situation, either subtly or in a more pronounced way, suggest and persuade alternative ways of thinking and behaving to that individual.

Local entrepreneurs who develop and launch new products

A local entrepreneur is someone from your community who has an idea of a new product. At this stage it is just an idea in his/her head. As this person ponders and wants this idea to become real, the individual then sets out to make it so. This may include writing a business plan, doing market research to validate the idea, and then finding the resources to develop and launch the product.

Lessons from this type of leadership – The local entrepreneur is visionary and understands that in order to achieve something of value, one needs to have a vision of what they want first; and then they can figure out the details of how it will be done.

The neighbour who is putting up his/her own shed

DIY activities are excellent examples of leadership on a smaller scale. For instance, you might have a neighbour who is putting up his/her own shed in the garden. The neighbour (like the local entrepreneur who has a vision) has an idea of what he/she wants the shed to look like and where to place it. After purchasing the shed, the neighbour proceeds to put up the shed and does so over 1 week. You might also see a partner helping to put up the shed.

Lessons from this type of leadership – The neighbour has demonstrated strong project management abilities and is not afraid to work in a team.

Your turn

  • How can you use the leadership skills demonstrated by the leaders in this post to lead in particular aspects of your life?
  • What activities in life are you currently leading and how exactly are you leading?
  • What others types of unlikely leaders can you think of?
  • Please share your valuable views and experiences in the comments box below.


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