The Accidental Leader.
Published: May 25, 2021

Is leadership something we are born to? Or can it be a question of circumstance and knowing how to lead in the moment?

Some people put themselves in a position to lead from an early age; organising friends in the playground, captain of this or chairperson of that. Many of our leadership development programmes focus on themes such as “stepping up” or “taking the lead”. Such programmes are often needed because there just aren’t enough of those “natural” leaders to go around.

If we’re to fill that gap, therefore, our role in facilitating such programmes is to encourage people, who we call “accidental leaders”, to do something that, up until that point, they’ve chosen not to.

A few things that can stop such people leading are:

  • Being a leader just isn’t that important to them
  • They haven’t been given, or don’t give themselves, permission to lead
  • They don’t have the “right stuff” to be a leader

We have a number of ways of countering this. One is the core message that leadership need only take 5 minutes, it doesn’t have to be a life-long commitment. Another is that there isn’t just one way of leading. Leadership is not about the right stuff, it’s much more about your right stuff.

Helping people recognise and value their “right stuff” is yet another way that Lumina Spark© ( comes into its own. Operating from all of its 8 aspects brings something unique to leadership.

Some are more obviously leaderly:

  • Big Picture Thinking brings the openness to possibility needed to bring new things into being.
  • Extroversion brings the willingness to engage with people and the energy to build commitment to and momentum behind change.
  • Outcome Focus brings a laser like focus on delivery and, consequently, success that persists in the face of obstacles.
  • Discipline Driven brings the capacity to turn the chaos of change into some form of clarity and the determination to follow through on commitments made.

What of the others?

  • Down to Earth brings the basis for trust, because it’s about can be, not what might be and will not expose anyone or anything to unnecessary risk.
  • Introversion brings the detachment needed to see the wood from the trees and the willingness to explore people and things in depth that brings genuine engagement.
  • People Focus brings a genuine recognition of the wants, needs and contributions of those whose engagement commitment is needed if change is to be delivered.
  • Inspiration Driven brings the “why not?!” that is at the very heart of the possibility of change.

By exploring these different contributions to leadership, it becomes possible that leadership suddenly seems much more important, acceptable and/or possible than it was.

What do you think your “right stuff”, your unique contribution to leadership is? If you’d like to find out, get in touch.

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