Although we may not aspire to Olympic fame, we can’t escape the one to one leadership relationship because it occurs naturally in family, work, school—it is inherent in life. When we interact with individuals, we may be leading or following. How do we measure up? Do we have the other person’s interest in mind when we lead? Are we gracious followers when someone else takes the lead?
Leadership author John Maxwell asserts that leadership is “influence—nothing more and nothing less.” This may appear over simplified; however, it highlights the crucial element of personal relationship in one to one leadership. In relationships, whether in the leader or follower role, we exert influence—on thoughts, attitudes and actions; good or bad—and we either build trust or tear it down. This influence has potential to unite people in purpose around common goals to culminate in great results. Even in one-time exchanges, for example in a check-out line, there is the opportunity to lead someone through the influence of a patient, kind attitude, honesty, and humble service.
Retreat from life’s business and look at your own one to one leadership relationships. Are they “gold medal” quality? Consider anew your influence through relating to others in your many roles in life. Wherever you are today—helping out at home, putting in a long day at work, or completing coursework for school—remember that one to one leadership is a skill worth honing.