Leadership Is Not Position

When I speak on the topic of leadership, I always like to start out by highlighting what leadership is and is not. I do this because many people have a misconception about what true leadership actually looks like.

The first thing I always point out is that leadership is not about position. Just because someone occupies a position of leadership does not mean they are leading. In reality, many people have been in a “position” of leadership but have never led a day in their life.

lead by exampleWhat do I mean? Leaders don’t just occupy positions, they exert influence in order to effect change. They influence people to achieve a common goal. They influence people to deliver excellence. They influence communities and organizations in a way that makes a positive impact. Ultimately, leaders influence by the way that they carry themselves and treat people. They lead by example.

John Maxwell says, “Leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less.” That’s a simple way of looking at leadership, but when you strip it down, that’s what leadership is all about — influencing.

What this also means is that you do not have to be in a formal position of leadership to actually lead–you can influence others where you are now. Do not let your lack of positional authority inhibit your ability to make a difference. You can lead where you are, and you can have a significant impact on the people around you and the organization of which you are a part — that’s leadership.

So instead of focusing on the position you do or do not have, how about focusing on your ability to influence others in a positive and significant way?

Relevant Quotes:

“Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration.” -Robin Sharma

“Leadership is a choice, not a position.” -Steven Covey

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” -Ronald Reagan

“Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flow charts. It is about one life influencing another.” -John Maxwell

Organizational Leadership ,

Written by Jeremy Couch

Dr. Jeremy Couch is a Leadership Architect who helps people accelerate their leadership performance. He is passionate about teaching, writing, consulting, coaching, and speaking on topics related to leadership development and organizational health. He is the owner of Couch Solutions, LLC and Insights for Leading.

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