When Size Matters

I was blessed to be a part of the Women’s March in our nation’s capital yesterday. I was blown away by the organization, the diversity of the woman clamoring to speak, and the celebrities who bared their souls in solidarity.

A passionate Ashley Judd embodied “Nasty Woman,” a searing piece written by Tennessee teen Nina Donovan.

Poignant comments from 6-year-old immigration activist Sophie Cruz almost made me ugly cry.

Women lawmakers both on the stage and spotted in the audience served as encouraging models of empowerment!

At the airport, on the Metro, at an Alexandria VA Starbucks the morning after, I encountered women of all ages and races (and a few men) who were inspired by what happened. We couldn’t get over the number of people marching in solidarity all over the world.

In fact, the size of the D.C. crowd overwhelmed the original rally site, spilling out past the planned parade route and leaving no room to actually march. Peaceful protestors were not deterred, and impromptu marches, to include one up Pennsylvania to the White House, took place throughout the late afternoon.

Crowd scientists have estimated the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. had at least 500K participants, three times more people than the inauguration the day before.

This is not likely to please the newly installed U.S. President and his surrogates who seem obsessed with refuting the small size of the crowds attending the inauguration ceremony and parade.

They’ve told us what we saw was not what we saw, that in fact, the audience for the inauguration “was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration – period – both in person and around the globe.” This is a lie.

The size of the crowds at both the inauguration and the Women’s March is reflective of the lack of popularity of the most unpopular president to take office in at least four decades. Instead of a conciliatory message to those who did not support him, Donald Trump’s ominous words and actions have created dissonance in America.

This is not leadership.

To be an effective leader, it’s important to realize the size of the crowd cheering you on is less important than the vastness of your vision to impact the world,
the intensity of your passion to excite and attract followers,
the enormity of your purpose to serve something bigger yourself,
the immensity of your intention so serve someone other than yourself,
the capacity of your heart to embrace those with a different perspective,
and the extension of your compassion to others.

Measure what is important to lead effectively.

Renita Alexander, Leadership Unlocked

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