This blog is primarily focused on organizational leadership yet today’s post honors a quiet yet powerful family and community leader. Esther was a former neighbour who died this week at 45 years of age. She leaves behind her husband and her two children ages 16 and 14.
Esther was a stay-at-home mom but this did not preclude her from being an active and engaging leader in her family and community. In many ways Esther personified the 3 qualities of strength-based leadership: strength, love and energy.
Esther was a strong woman. She may have been small in size but she was large in heart. She had an inner spiritual strength that was quiet and humble yet always evident. She transformed her house into a welcoming comfortable home and Esther guided her family and children with both subtlety and grace.
Esther was not a leader who was out front trying to pull people along, rather Esther stood beside you. Esther lived with cancer for many years yet she demonstrated phenomenal grit, strength and determination. You always got the sense that this was not even so much for herself but for the people she loved so dearly.
You knew Esther loved her family and loved life. The look in her eye as she watched her children communicated so much caring. She was very present when she spoke with you and she had a lilt in her voice that always made you feel a little lighter after talking with her.
Even in illness Esther had energy. She was busy making food for the school even as her personal energy was dwindling. Each interaction with Esther was an authentic example of a high quality interaction that rekindled your energy.
Esther, you will be missed and you demonstrated to me that leadership is not a role; it is a way of being with both yourself and others.