Guest Columnist on “The Everyday Leader”

Karen, my 19 year old niece and one of my loyal readers, is visiting me this week. She is a junior at the University of Florida, majoring in geology, with a minor in English. I was delighted when she accepted my invitation to contribute to today’s Minute! I gave her carte blanche to write on anything having to do with leadership, and here is her essay, unedited.

Food for Thought ~

The Everyday Leader by Karen Vyverberg

In my – admittedly brief – 19 plus years I have come to decide that there are two main types of leader: the Official Leader and the Everyday Leader. I like to believe I can speak personally on both.

An Official Leader is just that – a person whose job it is to lead, like a foreman or a shift supervisor. The job of an Official Leader is not easy. The group has certain goals to meet, and the Official Leader is saddled with the responsibility of meeting them.

An Everyday Leader is a more subtle position; that person in a group of friends or peers that the others instinctively look to for communal decisions. He or she might be the person who drives the most often, or even just the person who starts the brainstorming of dinner ideas. Perhaps “the party doesn’t start” until he or she arrives.

I believe it is often more difficult to be an Everyday Leader. We are faced with countless responsibilities everyday, and it is nice when some simple choices – like where to eat out – are made for us. The tricky role of the Everyday Leader is to make these extra choices without enforcing them like an Official Leader. An Everyday Leader must first be a group member, but perhaps with just enough foresight to take the responsibilities no one else wants.

Question of the day ~

Where do you fit in this description? Do you inhabit both Official and Everyday Leader roles? Where are you most effective or comfortable?

I hope you enjoyed this special edition with a different, yet related, perspective. Thanks, Karen!