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I first met Barbara Lee ten years ago. My wife had been talking about this amazing woman who was relentlessly dedicated to identifying, recruiting, supporting, and coaching great women to run for elective office. Jennifer doesn’t think she’d have gotten elected without Barbara’s encouragement and energy.
Jennifer was far from Barbara’s only beneficiary. Barbara Lee has helped elect 118 women in 28 states. She’s helped nearly every woman who’s gotten elected governor, senator, or congresswoman.
She doesn’t like the limelight. (I hope she won’t be mad at me for writing this!) But I heard her give a very short speech to a political group last week, and I had to share what I heard her say in one simple sentence:
“I’ve helped a lot of great women leaders get elected, and I guess somewhere along the way,” she continued with amusement, as though it had just occurred to her, “I guess I became a leader myself.”
I guess so, and THAT is servant leadership. That’s how you go from leading to BEING a leader:
- Stay relentlessly focused on the cause.
- Help others do great things.
Paradoxically, when you get yourself out of the way you can:
Lead with your best self,