For today’s prompt for Just Jot it January  by Linda, we have been given ‘leadership.’ Now, I have never really thought of myself as being a leader or having the necessary qualities to become one. Having always been quiet and shy, telling others what to do, or being responsible for their actions is something that would not appeal to me at all when I was younger. I would much rather blend in, and do my job, asking for help when needed or perhaps show someone else how to do something, but almost be apologetic about if for knowing more than they did.

However, there are times in life when it is essential to take charge of a situation, be it work, social or domestic  if things are to run smoothly. Surprisingly, I kind of fell into a leadership role without thinking too much about it. My ex-husband bought a cafe which he later converted into a kebab shop. I had to help run them both which meant that I was in charge of several staff, some of whom were his or my family members, or both! As you can imagine, it did get a bit fraught at times, but I managed to maintain relationships as well as help keep the business running smoothly.

Of course, as soon as we have children then, like it or not, we become role models and definitely need to hone our leadership skills, as children pick up on the slightest hesitancy or inconsistency as I have found to my cost! If we want them to grow up into decent, caring, honest and hard-working adults, then we have to lead by example. When they don’t behave as we want them to, then we also have to find a way to change this, which is where things can get tricky!

I remember when I worked in an office of a holiday brochure distribution company, having quite a strict boss. He was a director of the company in his 40s and could get quite shirty at times, as well as being pretty rude. (His people skills were not the best). However, the thing that I respected about him, was that apparently he had started off at this company as a young lad of 16 emptying the rubbish, then worked his way up to the top. This meant he knew all aspects of the business inside out, and when they were short staffed in the warehouse, he rolled his sleeves up and went down there to help them out.

I have realised over the years, that being a good leader is not about strutting around, shouting orders to others expecting them to bow down to your every command (well it is pretty handy in the military), it is much more complex than that. There are many qualities to being a good leader, like treating others with respect, and mucking in together when needed, as well as listening to and learning from others. I know that when needed, I can step up and be a leader!