Some will tell you that leadership is a science. They will tell you that if you buy this book, or sign up for this course, or follow this play book then you can be an effective leader. While I am never against learning, or reading, or whatever personal and professional development activities you engage in that doesn’t change a very important tenant about leadership. Leadership is not a science, it’s an art, and sometimes it’s impossible to describe or quantify…but we sure know it when we see it in action!
I have thoroughly enjoyed watching U.S. Women’s Soccer march their way to another World Cup championship. I have also very much enjoyed watching superstar Megan Rapinoe engage critics, defend her patriotism against a very unpatriotic president (Mr. Trump), and calling out mean, ugly, racist behavior and discourse from the (un)Leader of the Free World. She did not bend to the bullying and demeaning attacks of The Donald and refused to be intimidated. She has continued to carry the torch of equality for women still playing in a mens world and gays and lesbians all over the world. She called Trump’s racist tweets about four female U.S. Representatives “disgusting” and she is right.
Leadership is sometimes hard to come by. It’s hard to mimic and master and it has an organic and evolutionary component to it that you can’t always read in a book or teach in a classroom. Some leaders work hard at it all their professional careers. Some leaders never grow or develop into their full potential. Some leaders are born and are able to use those natural traits and tendencies when the right time and opportunity presents itself. Megan Rapinoe is real, authentic, and gay leadership in motion and it’s something we’ll need to see more of from all leaders (in sports, in entertainment, and in politics) if we are going to survive the current siege on our democracy.