After surviving a very long day at work without tea, I finally made it back home in one piece with a throbbing headache. I changed my clothes, and wrapped myself in a warm blanket on the sofa in the main lounge as I waited for my mother to make her signature tea. I turned my laptop on to get some course work done.
Soon enough, I got hot tea along with a few biscuits that I devoured within the next ten minutes. Funnily enough, for this activity of ‘fixing stuff around me’, I happened to have walked over from my sofa to the other side of the room.
The first thing I saw in my surroundings that needed fixing was all the mess I had created myself.
Since this is the main living area of my house, it is usually clean. As if the blanket with the cushion oddly placed facing left weren’t enough, I spotted the cup of tea along with the biscuits wrappers sitting there on the side on the single sofa too. These things were very out of place, and definitely needed some fixing!
These two elements in the scenery before me really needed to be dealt with. The blanket needed to be folded and put away in the store room, where it usually is; while the empty cup of tea needed to be taken back to the kitchen.
I built up the strength to put my laptop aside, get off the couch I was sitting on, and do exactly that!
I folded the blanket and carried it to the store room. As I came back to the spot, I arranged the cushions in their required order. I picked up the empty cup along with the wrappers; first walked over to the dustbin to throw the wrappers away, and then went and placed the cup (and plate) on the kitchen sill.
As I walked back into the lounge, I noticed a huge difference!
It took me less than 5 minutes to do these tasks, but the result was so satisfying. Less than 5 minutes, and it made such a big difference!
Once I was done, I felt like I had taken some work off the shoulders of my mother; and that was satisfying beyond belief. I could see how with just taking initiative and spending a few moments, I made a difference (even if it wasn’t on a massive scale).
I am sure I would have eventually done this before going back to my room at night, but I would not have done it right away if it hadn’t been for this little activity. Sometimes, I happen to leave things for a ‘later’ time than tend to them immediately. I often even get scolded by my parents for ‘delaying the deed’, instead of doing it right away. This activity made me come out of that ‘delaying’ phase and actually do it in that moment.
And guess what? That was leadership. Sounds funny, right?
Leadership without authority is taking responsibility. It is about taking the initiative to do something and seeing that duty through. I wasn’t given an authority to get up and fix these little things before me, I took on that responsibility (owing to some nudging by Amal, of course) and I fulfilled that task, even if it was a very small and seemingly insignificant one.
We all have the ability to take such actions in our daily lives, and we often do, without even realizing we’re practicing the art of leadership.
It’s the littlest things that sometimes end up mattering the most. So let’s not let a single opportunity go to waste.
Let’s make every little thing count, even if it is just a messy blanket and an empty cup of tea.