Leadership is not a matter of rank and title.
Way too many managers believe that the fact that they are Head of XYZ makes them a leader. And way too many leaders believe that they do not have authority because they don’t have rank or title.
Leadership, you see, is actively handling a situation. Not sitting bored in a meeting, inwardly complaining about the person droning on about some unimportant side effect. Leading doesn’t mean harshly interrupting, confronting or complaining. Leading may take the form of a question, of raising the awareness of the group, of facilitating, or of observing. Leading can also mean that you are pulling yourself together because that is what you know you need to work on.
Leadership is the conscious decision to act.
As a leader, you have any number of decisions to make. Decisions about the outer world, like whether to approve a team member’s proposal to the client or what to eat for lunch. And decisions about your inner world, like how much leeway you give to your team regarding product development decisions, and how well you feel about not having insight into every step of the way.
You need to navigate these decisions. Some will work out great, and you will be happy with the results. Some will lead to situations you did not wish for, and you will learn from it.
Leadership is the conscious decision to learn and grow.
You’ll need a compass on this journey of growth and leadership. And that compass does not come from an org chart with your name on it. It will be influenced by the values of your organization. But ultimately, it should come from within.
Leadership is knowing yourself, and acting in accordance with what is important to you.
Be a leader. Lead from within. And you’ll be a leader anywhere, no matter your rank or title.
Let me know what makes a leader in your view. And if you love a good conversation, let’s meet for coffee ☕!