Kerry Swan Leadership

What does a leader really look like?

Ever wondered what a real leader looks like?  How does a leader act?  How do they behave?

But, more importantly, have you ever wondered what it would take to feel like a real leader?

To be honest, I am not sure that there is a one size fits all answer to these questions, but this I do know this.  Leaders are all around us.  Everywhere.  In every school, group, business, organisation that you can name.

Kerry Swan on LeadershipTake the single parent who, doing it alone, decides to go back to study and finish her nursing degree.  She may not hold a formal ‘leadership’ role at her part time, pay the bills job, but she does show leadership every day in her choices and belief in the future.

Or take the netball coach who, despite the fear in her belly, puts up her hand to coach a team of kids for the first time.  Scary as all hell.  She faces the parents, the opposition, hell even the kids themselves; and makes a decision to be there, week in week out.

This is what I call Leadership in the Trenches.

It is the unglamorous reality that we all live.  Day to day.

This is not the sexy, media driven perceptions of leadership.  You know, leadership that is successful, wears crisp white shirts and commands a media interview.

Leadership in the Trenches looks more like showing up to a parent teacher interview when you are tired, hungry and asking the good questions.

You see leaders are all around us.  And, way more common than we know.

They make choices

Leaders in the Trenches make active choices, every day, to be a better version of themselves.

Leadership can be as simple as committing to regular exercise and getting a healthy meal on the table.  Because it matters for their families.

Leaders don’t allow others to take away their right to choice.


They believe in themselves

Leaders in the Trenches back themselves, their belief systems and what is right for them.  Right now.

Meaning, leadership can be as simple as upholding their standards.  Standards like how they will conduct themselves at work.  A leader will hold themselves accountable to get the job done, because they believe in their ability to get it done.

Leaders don’t look for excuses or a scapegoat as to why ‘it didn’t happen’.


They work towards something bigger

Leaders in the Trenches have their eye on the prize.  A goal. An outcome. A purpose.

Leadership might be about making the necessary short term choices to save for a rainy day so that, when the time is right, they can invest in a future holiday, car or education.

Leaders don’t allow themselves to be caught up in the fun of the moment and the easy path.


They don’t sweat the small stuff

Leaders in the Trenches truly realise that life is precious.  They realise that we all have a limited account of passion and energy.

Leadership can be truly simply saying no to the energy thieves and not getting involved in the gossip or drama of the moment.

Leaders will not allow themselves to be stuck in the minutia of every day life, but rather they are focused in their own lane.


They look like us

Leaders in the Trenches take a moment to ponder, reflect and then act.  They are strategic and big picture focused in their own way and make good choices to advance their cause.

Leaders simply look like us.  They are not fancy.  They are making the best of their lot, their resources and want to extend their influence, in their own way.

Leadership is not about a fancy title or special authority.

Leadership is everything about how we hold ourselves in the world.

And, really a leader just looks like the person in your mirror.

So, for my ten cents worth, be a little discriminating and surround yourself with Leaders in the Trenches and you will be amazed at how your life will change.


If you are keen for change, but don’t know where to start, I am always up for a chat.

Living your best life starts the day you make a choice to take the scary, creative, and audacious road.

I have spent a lifetime making choices that take me down the scary road.  It has been bumpy, scary and the best thing I have ever down.

I have also spent a lifetime solving problems.  Business problems. People problems.  And, of course property problems.

So if you are up for a no obligation, free chat, flick me a line and we can find a space in our worlds where the stars align and we can chat.

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