As summer has ended and rolled into fall, the headlines are filled with much disturbing news from around the globe. Domestic violence among elite athletes, terrorist groups broadcasting atrocities, heads of state fanning the flames of war, the continued spectacle of the dysfunctional American political system, draught, earthquakes and hurricanes. It is enough to make anyone want to put their head down and simply try to make it through the day without incident.

Yet each day, thousands of individuals show up in their offices committed to meeting the challenges before them. Leaders asked to navigate staff, teams and organizations through internal drama and external challenge to reach goals—constantly having to weigh the personal versus organizational costs of moving forward. The stress of dealing with constant change and new tests seeps into every aspect of the day.

Many people in positions of leadership have learned to cope with this landscape and even thrive in it. The question is at what price. Very rarely do I come across leaders at the top of their game who have managed to build success in every facet of their lives—relationship, family, friends, community, contribution to the world and career. Most have achieved a comfort level in a couple of these arenas and rarely has someone managed it in all. Impossible? No. And without dedication to being a leader in every facet of one’s life it doesn’t happen.

Leading in life? Yes. It is the key to success for self and everyone else. What people often miss is that problems are not created by people who conduct themselves from a space of balanced leadership; problems are created by those who don’t know who they are, aren’t comfortable with the ambiguity and spend their time and energy trying to hide the disconnect from those with whom they live and work. In short, they create drama to hide from the truth of dealing with issues, personal and organizational, openly, honestly and to a resolution.

Ultimately effective leadership is less about mastering a certain set of skills, although there are few essential ones, and more about living authentically in every facet of life. This does not mean perfection; it means being clear, having purpose and aligning words, actions and deeds. And it means to lead by example, as it is the only way to inspire change in others.

Which brings us back to the issues on the world stage, all are created by individuals disconnected from their purpose and blindly lashing out to incite in others the pain they feel in themselves. The solution to the atrocities lies within each of us—and in our leadership. Everyone can be a leader and make a difference, not only in her life, but also in the lives of those with whom she interacts with — daily and ultimately in the world — by choosing to be a leader.

How do we lead in our lives? How do we thrive in our work, home and community? The answer is found in making the choice to be a leader in our lives and to committing to being our best and inspiring it in others. At Leadership Connection, we guide people through the process of understanding their natural leadership skills, provide the tools and step-by-step process to begin living it now.

For those who want to begin the change process today, Living the Leadership Choice is for you: www.leadershipconnection.net.

If you are a woman leader looking for an immersion experience that addresses the unique challenges you face, our upcoming seminar: Leading Me is a wonderful opportunity in a fantastic setting to jump start living your leadership.

And if you want to significantly lead change in the world, please visit http://kathleenschafer.com/contact/ to inquire about one-on-one coaching availability.

Trying to change the world alone is a daunting task. Endeavoring to change yourself is a brave act. Succeeding in leading yourself is how you change your world and the world. Take the first step now and connect with us.