Whilst I have been watching the US presidential election campaign I have been pondering on who gives you the mandate to be a leader?
Sometimes it feels that you stood still and everyone else took a step back so you are therefore now the one in the front and you are almost the leader by default. Why did the others take a step back did they believe that they didn't have the time, skills, ability or inclination to take the lead; did you by pondering whether you could lead actually show that you might be capable and that's how you got the job? That can be quite a negative feeling and you are left with the thought "How did I get here? Am I worthy? Can I do it?"
You feel a little more positive when there is a lot of group jostling and collectively the group push you to the front. You feel endorsed and that you have their collective approval to be leader. Although ultimately your actions and delivery will determine how long you have their support and some of those aforementioned questions can gradually sneak into your mind.
Winston Churchill is reputed to have said " Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb." It takes a great, resolute character to make these words their life mantra.
So, there is a third kind of leader. This person has a conviction, an aspiration,and they will always believe in these aims and goals even if no-one else agrees. They have a bedrock of strength, they believe in their abilities and they walk their path in life because they want to make the journey and they want others to come along with them. They have given themselves a mandate to lead. In consequence others if they feel the leader is honest, authentic and real will trust them and ultimately their leadership and give them a mandate too.