Written by Courtney lynch

When we think of great leaders, we often look out, about, and beyond. We think of executives, athletes, public officials, and even celebrities. In reality, many of the most impactful leaders are those who lead close to home. How we lead within our families can contribute to the most important results we experience.

What is fascinating about family leadership is that we often fill roles that no one else or just a few other people can fill. If you are the mother of a baby, you are the only person with that role for that child. If you are a trusted uncle, your niece or nephew might only have a handful of other uncles. If you are the oldest sister, there is no other. Family roles are special for the strength of connection, shared experience, duration, and opportunity for love and leadership they can offer.

We understand that not all family relationships are healthy or joyful. Most of us have experienced challenging family dynamics. Yet what we can often overlook is the value leadership skills can bring to the people we call family.

Here are ways you can lead your family:

Practice love and acceptance always. The more welcoming you are to your family member’s uniqueness, the more of a safe harbor you will create. Let the outside world take care of judgment and disapproval.

Be the standard keeper. We live in a culture where it is perfectly okay to blame anything and everybody for why your life isn’t going well. Blame is pervasive; accountability is uncommon. Build relationships with your family members that allow for the honest sharing of expectations and supportive accountability when they are unmet.

Anticipate and meet needs. It can be hard to ask for help, even from our family. Be the one who recognizes needs and takes action to support before you are asked. Proactive service can be a powerful way to express how much you care.

Show the way. While there is no room for perfectionist standards in families, there is plenty of room for positive role models. By being credible, caring, compassionate, and trustworthy, you earn the opportunity to influence and inspire the people you love.

When we lead within our families, we can often see the impact of our love and effort. We learn and grow in powerful ways as our kids, parents, siblings, and others teach and shape us. That is a sweet reward.

Founded in 2004, Lead Star is the company behind New York Times best-sellers SPARKLeading from the Front, and Bet on You. Lead Star supports professionals to reach new levels of success through its innovative coaching programs.