One of the challenges of being the youngest of nine siblings is that I have ALWAYS looked up to other people to have the answers. Before I even THINK about trusting myself to have the key or the best solution, I just know that someone older, richer, wiser, whiter, bigger, or seemingly more talented than me will have golden truth. Even as I transitioned into adulthood and began my career, I just KNEW that if you came into a meeting with a fancy agenda, a booming voice, and a sharp, tailored suit that truly you were the ish. After 10 years of meetings, round tables, and strategic gatherings, I now know that a well-crafted agenda probably made by your overqualified yet underpaid assistant does not a leader make. What makes a great leader? B.Y.O.G: Bringing You Own Greatness.
It has truly taken me 34 years, 2 months, and 16 days of my life (and prayerfully still counting!) to really get that nobody really gives a damn about who I know, who I can reference, or who I can call to get the answers. The world is waiting for ME (yes, really, ME) to bring my own greatness to the table. It might not be the “right” solution but NOBODY else in the world will have a custom-made, Leah Lakins answer but me. NOBODY else can secretly undercut you with some Baltimore sass and attitude and still keep it classy and professional. Even this morning, I decided to drive all the way into DC from my apartment in Northern Virginia. I was using my phone to navigate to my office and suddenly it died without warning. (Ya’ll pray for my phone. She’s had a REAL attitude over the last week!) I started to panic and then I thought, “No m’am. We’ve lived in the DC Metro area for 10 years. Bring your greatness to this car and get us to work.” And truly I did. A whole hour (!!!) early.
I openly put my soul all up into my SoulFlakes because I know that there are others of ya’ll out there like me for whom trusting in your own worth and value is a DAILY challenge. I wish I got up EVERY day and said, “DAMN, I’M AWESOME!” but I’m a work in progress. Until that process becomes an EVERYDAY practice, I’m actively practicing B.Y.O.G. My greatness doesn’t have to be right, perfect, well-meaning, the gospel, or the truth. It just has to be AUTHENTICALLY me. When I started to realize how many people throw out REDONKULOUS information every day and call it greatness, I began thinking, “Yeah, I can do MUCH better than that!”
My friends, the world isn’t waiting for us to be thinner, younger, smarter, or wiser to truly be the people that we are meant to be. Wherever you are today, get off your ass and BRING YOUR OWN GREATNESS!!
Just in case this blog post didn’t get all the way in, I think this Muhammed Ali clip will do the trick. May your day be filled with GREATNESS, my loves!