My earlier post talked a bit about what I think leadership is. I mentioned that there can be great discussions that lead us to conclude what leadership might look like if we talk about what leadership is NOT. Leadership is NOT so many things that society believes it might be. If someone is elected to a powerful public office, does this person automatically earn the distinction of being a Leader? Being elected to a political office implies only one thing for sure (without examining specific examples of the actions or inactions of that person): they have successfully lead a team of people to earn enough votes to be elected. I am certainly not going to get into a political discussion here. There are way too many blogs out there that you can read if you are
interested in political conversation or even some good ol’ mud slinging. But the point is simple – you cannot be elected to be a Leader anymore than an executive in your company can bestow upon you the title of “Leader”. John Maxwell eloquently put it: “A great Leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.” Leadership is earned and it is not easy to define the moment in time when it has been earned. I believe that it is easier to say that someone is NOT a leader at any point in time than it is to say “Oh yeah, I think we have a Leader on our hands here”. Most of the time the people earning the distinction of being an effective Leader are way too busy with the work at hand to stop and ask the question. It is often not even a conscious thought that enters the mind of the “followers”.
Leadership is NOT having a fancy office in the “C suite”. It is NOT dependent on how many people report to you. There are no truly objective measures to gauge one’s Leadership ability. Leadership is what others think of you; how your actions inspire others to act especially when they are looking for someone to emulate, to follow and most importantly to believe in.
Thank you again for reading (and sharing). Let me know what you think leadership looks like (and what is does NOT look like).