Guest Author Series: Leadership Is Everyone’s Business

This month, we are continuing our series of informational blogs authored by guest writers doing business in our community. Our goal is to equip our readers with varied and quality information, promote careers in Hiawatha, and spotlight our guest writers and their local business. Our March blog has been guest authored by Angie Chaplin. Angie is the Founder and CEO of Mindful Leadership, a leadership coaching and consulting practice based here in Hiawatha, IA. You can contact Angie by e-mailing her at or by giving her a call at 319-404-7357.

Think of someone you consider to be a leader. Who immediately comes to mind? Is it a business icon, industry expert, successful entrepreneur, or political figure? If you are like most people, your best leadership role model is an individual close to you, someone with whom you’ve had frequent contact. To put it another way, your leadership role model is or was local – a family member, teacher, or coach, and not someone in the news, or on TV, or in social media.

In the newest book by authors Jim Kouzes & Barry Posner, Everyday People, Extraordinary Leadership, data from a global study of over 35,000 people shows that any given time, it is probable that we are serving as leaders for someone else. Not in the hierarchical sense, with a title or a position of power, but as a role model for how to make decisions, manage conflict, work as a team, and encourage others. Leadership belongs to everyone – we are all leaders, and leadership is everyone’s business.

When it comes down to the one thing that makes leadership happen, the research is clear – leadership is a relationship. Whether it’s one-to-one or one-to-many, in-person or virtual, high-tech or high-touch, leadership is a human connection between those who aspire to lead and those who choose to follow. What I have learned from more than 20 years in leadership development, backed by more than 35 years of research, is that there is a framework for the ways we nurture relationships and live, love, learn, and lead as role models – The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership: Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart.

The Five Practices allowed me to examine my own leadership role modeling in February 2020 during treatment for alcohol addiction. Using a values identification activity as a guide, I rediscovered my voice for Modeling the Way as a leader in recovery. Inspiring a Shared Vision allows me the space to speak openly about the struggles where I found my strength, and Challenging the Process is moving away from the past while mindfully acknowledging the lessons I learned from it. Enabling Others to Act is promoting healthy behaviors through positive mindset shifts, and I am intentional about Encouraging the Heart by offering grace and celebrating small wins with everyday people doing extraordinary leadership.

Are you one of those everyday role models making extraordinary things happen? Leadership is everyone’s business. Does your business need work?

Known for her mastery of content and connection, Angie Chaplin is a leadership speaker, coach, facilitator, consultant, author, and educator with more than two decades of work in human resources and organizational leadership. She holds a master’s degree in strategic communication and leadership from Seton Hall University, and is a Certified Master and LPI® Coach for The Leadership Challenge®. Reengagement with The Leadership Challenge® community, including the authors, was a catalyst for Angie to establish Mindful Becoming LLC and launch Mindful Leadership in October 2020. Grounded in leadership research and guided by mindful behavior, Mindful Leadership offers The Leadership Challenge® Workshop Online, individual and group leadership coaching, and customized leadership development for businesses and organizations. Enrollment is now open for The Leadership Challenge® Workshop Online on April 13 and HEDCO members receive $150 off registration with the discount code HEDCO.