Invisible Leaders: Trailblazer Stories We Need to Hear

Yes, this blog is from my journalist niece — and Iʻm reblogging it because it seems like a leadership lesson we must learn and relearn — there are invisible leaders like the  19th century woman journalist, Martha Rayne, quoted here, in history who havenʻt been cursed or praised, but just did their work. (Rayneʻs book, What Can a Woman Do? is available as a free e-book if you want to learn more about her thoughts and work.)

Front CoverThese are the trailblazers we discover when we step onto our path, and if we pay attention, there are lessons to be learned that make us better at whatever we do — in this case writing — and inspire us to remember that our small efforts matter. We are leaders whether or not anyone calls us a leader. So we should write, teach, share, learn, lead, and not be discouraged by our lack of fame.

Our foremothers and forefathers, often unsung, have blazed the path before us. Letʻs remember them whenever we can, and hope that we can inspire, in our often quiet way, the next generations, by doing the work we have a talent to do, and making the path we were born to make.
As leadership scholars, activists and citizens, we often speak only of the leaders who have been “much sung,” because the familiar stories weʻve learned about them ring “true.” But leaders like Martha Louise Rayne, one of the “unsung,” have an important place as well. If we learn leadership by telling stories about leaders, then diversifying the stories is a good start to doing — and understanding — good leadership.

[Pressboard]

Use concise terms; have a choice of words; be anything but commonplace. If you attempt to describe a horserace, put motion into the article; make it so picturesque and full of life that your readers can see the flying animal, the crowd of spectators, and hear the loud cheers that announce the winning heat. Give strength and beauty to the simplest things you describe; use a lead pencil and eraser, and strike out any sentence that is not a picture. Some of the strongest journalistic work in the world has been done by women…

Indeed, the papers to which women do not contribute, and on whose pages they are not employed, are exceptions to the rule. And there is always room for more…

If a woman is born with a talent to write she will write — there is no possible doubt about that.

— Martha Louise Rayne, What Can…

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One comment

  1. Thanks for reblogging, Carol! I like this: “We are leaders whether or not anyone calls us a leader.” Leading quietly, without the affirmation of followers and fans, requires a particular type of courage.

    Like

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