Do you think that in order to be a leader you must hold the title of president, vice president, boss, manager or supervisor? If so, you are completely wrong about leadership. The leadership role is not a title. Anyone can be a leader at any position within a company, group or organization. To be a leader, you need to have the attributes of leadership not the title of leadership. How do you lead without the title of leader? Let’s explore the concept a bit further.
The dictionary defines leader as (Noun) a person or thing that leads; a guiding or directing head of movement of a group. The dictionary makes being a leader sound easy. But being a leader means way more than our dictionary leads us to believe. It has nothing to do with a title but a mindset. A leader and a manager are two completely different people. Can you lead without a title? Can you manage without being a leader? The answer is “yes” to both. We see it daily in businesses and groups and usually notice it more in bad businesses and groups. A manager runs his team through fear and intimidation. There is always a threat of consequences, spoken or silent, that not doing a good job results in punishment or termination. His team is stressed out, has a high turnover rate and a very unhealthy work environment. The manager’s team members turn on each other with a “dog eat dog mentality”. Certainly not some place I would work or network. A leader, leads from the front. The leader leads by example. He or she never asks the team to do some task that he or she is not prepared to do or has done successfully themselves. He or she is the first to arrive and the last to leave. He or she constantly sacrifices for the good of the team. His or her vocabulary changes from “me” to “we”. There is no intimidation, the leader sees the opportunity to coach the member up to a higher standard. The team wants to perform at its best because of its leadership not for fear of failure through intimidation.
If you are a leader or wish to be in leadership, now is the time to lead. Leadership is not a part time position. A leader will lead in every endeavor that set out to accomplish. It becomes our nature as a leader to step up and lead by example without being asked. With this being true about the leader, he or she must acquire the following traits. The leader is proactive, adaptable, passionate, enthusiastic, reliable, honest, and trustworthy. Leaders have self-control, consistency and respectfulness. They are great communicators from both listening and speaking and most of all they are willing to put the needs of others ahead of their own. The leader understands in order to lead, he or she must have some type of likability, or pleasing personality, in order for those team members to follow him or her and build a successful business or group. The leader asks not for a title but an opportunity to excel. The leader gives instead of taking from the group or team. By giving, the leader understands the dividend of good that shall be returned to him or her ten fold. Leaders can always spot another leader, for better or for worse. Leaders can also spot a manager as well. Leaders are rare and should be well taken care of in order to prosper from their leadership. If you are a rare person and feel you have what it takes to be a leader, now is the time to excel for your team, company or group regardless of your title or position. It is your time to lead.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”—John Quincy Adams
Image by digitalart at www.freedigitalphotos.net
Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, grandfather of 1, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, employee benefit specialist, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger, author and team leader with over 29 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.