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Ask yourself these 4 simple questions to develop your leadership skills

Leadership is a practice, not a position

Source | | ABBY FALIK

I was in a yoga class recently trying to breathe through a convoluted, bound twist when my teacher, Margi Young, spoke: “Remember,” she said calmly. “Yoga is about the practice, not the posture.” My breathing deepened.

Her reminder enlivened me, not just in that moment, but in the weeks since. As someone obsessed with purposeful leadership—what it is, how we develop it, why there’s so little of it in today’s world—I can’t help but connect her lesson to a related concept: Leadership, too, is a practice, not a position.

Our culture is hardwired to conflate titles, money, and power with leadership. We venerate the unicorn founders and billionaires, holding them on a pedestal as exemplars of success, celebrating the “what” of their accomplishment (revenues, market share, net worth), but rarely asking questions that probe into the “how” or the “who”—unless they fall spectacularly from grace.

By rewarding and celebrating financial wins, we generally ignore the cost of these achievements on things like our well-being or the health of our planet. In the context of unprecedented prosperity, inequality is growing. In the context of unprecedented technological advances, we’re destroying our environment. In the context of our connected world, we are failing to solve the global challenges that threaten our planet and future.

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