There are many definitions of leadership. One that has stuck with me is that leadership is creating in others today a future willingness to follow you into something new for the sake of something great. I believe that to be true.
But let’s look for a moment of the misconceptions about leadership.
The one misconception I have observed over the years as a self-employed business owner and personal business coach is that leadership comes from a position or title. A title or position alone does not mean that you can or will lead. It is just that, a position or title.
You don’t need to possess a position at the top of your group, department, division or organization in order to lead.
Leadership: A Position At The Top
A position at the top does not automatically make anyone a leader. A position at the top gives you authority. But authority does not in and of itself make you a leader. People may follow you because they have to.
You only are a leader when people truly want to follow you.
Leadership Is Influence
As John Maxwell points out, “Leadership is influence—nothing more, nothing less. Certainly influence can come from position. But if your influence only goes as far as your position then people very often are following you because they have to.
Let’s go back to the definition of leadership at the beginning of this post. “Leadership is creating in others today, a future willingness to follow you into something new for the sake of something great.”
The key phrase is “creating in others today, a future willingness to follow you….”
Whether you are a self-employed business owner, entrepreneur or solo professional running a small business or a corporate executive or manager it is important to remember that the best leadership occurs when people truly want to follow you.
If you extend your influence beyond your position and have people not just doing what they are supposed to but becoming more effective in the process then you are manifesting the traits of well-rounded leadership.