This morning I have been contemplating leadership. Last week I went to Skid Row with an outreach team called Loving The Least, which is headed up by the amazing Dustin Berlin, with the intention of connecting with people and maybe cutting some hair. Dustin is an advocate for helping, connecting and creating value for those which society deems as the least important. I feel that we as hairstylists have a unique opportunity to connect and touch people in ways that can truly create change. When we went out there I didn't end up cutting any hair, but I listened. Creating value in people's lives can often mean doing something as simple as listening to them. I was skeptical about this concept at first because these people have lived through some of the roughest times of anyone in the country, I mean why would they care that I care? I was convinced by the end of the day after listening to people's stories and hearing what they had to say about life and where they are in life that it is 100% true - sometimes all people need is to be shown compassion and respect and someone to listen in order to shift something within themselves. Even if that exchange created only a spark of self worth, it was a valuable thing. So I want to encourage everyone to be a leader, first within yourself and then within your community. This world has so many people that want to help by donating money to charitable causes, and that is wonderful. But sometimes the thing that people need in order to make real change, a change within, a different perspective on how they view themselves - is human connection. You can be a leader, you have the opportunity every day by connecting with people in a real way, just look them in the eye and listen.