Are You a Leader? Yes, I Mean You!

Are You a Leader?  Yes, I mean YOU!
By Vanda Stephens, Office Manager

What a question to start this conversation off with, but hang here with me for a while. Our old friend Webster tells us Leadership is a noun, a position as a leader of a group, organization, etc.  Sorry Webster, but that is boring.

What is Exciting is that YOU, my friend, are a LEADER!

To borrow from the Kansas Leadership Center there are five key elements of the Leadership Principal and YOU possess them.

  • Leadership is an activity, not a position: Ever watch kids on a playground, it does not take long to see who the leader is.
  • Anyone can lead, anytime, anywhere: Have you ever had that situation where someone needed to step up and get things moving; and it ended up being you.
  • It starts with you and must engage others: Others? Yes, your family, friends, co-workers. Yes, there are others in your life, even a stranger on the street can be considered “another”.
  • Your purpose must be clear: Yes, Purposes are all around us. Our passions, visions, dreams. What is yours?
  • It’s risky: So what if you make a mistake? So what if not everyone agrees with you? It is ok my friend, life is risky.

I challenge you to take the risk and don’t think of Leadership as a position, role, or title.


Am I passionate about the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership Emporia program, because it is part of my job?  NO!

I am passionate about Emporia, my home town. Even when I did not live here I would drive 5 hours across Kansas just to come home to Emporia to get my hair cut, see the doctor, do my banking and shop for clothes, because I love this town. Six generations of my family have been blessed to call Emporia home. I want to see this community thrive and flourish. That is way I am passionate about the Leadership Emporia program.

No matter how long you have called Emporia home, I challenge you to look for ways you can be a leader right where you are. Look for volunteer opportunities in your church, local charities/non-profits, civic & service organizations. Consider applying to be a part of the next Leadership Emporia program to challenge how you view leadership.

Everyone is a leader, even if you are a quite introvert like myself.

Thanks for hanging in here with me for a while. Now take some action and visit and complete you Leadership Emporia application. The deadline is August 14.