If I only I was a manager?
I don’t have a title by my name. Who is going to listen to me?
Now if I was the CEO I would be able to make a difference.
It is not my job to do that. So why should I do it?
A lot of people want to be leaders but sometimes we make the mistake that leadership comes with a title. However, does it? In my experiences, leadership is comes down to more than a title, it comes down to one word… Influence!
What is your influence? What is your impact?
One of greatest lessons I have learned is that leadership does not just come with a title (responsibility does).
Pro football teams have the locker room leaders. These locker room leaders set the example and even help raise the bar by how they conduct themselves on and off the field. Because there standards are so high they influence others. These are the veterans where rookies get their locker next too because the coaches want them to emulate that veteran character and work ethic.
Once a mentor said to me, Tony, if you want to lead, first you have to learn how to lead yourself. Leading yourself takes self-control, discipline and focus. Your actions influences others. If you are on time. If you aren’t on time. If you are positive or negative. Being mindful is a way to become a better leader. Your bosses recognize it. Your coworkers recognize it. Even customers recognize. By being that example, you are leading.
Here is another example, think of the people at our companies that carry weight and influence but do not have a title. You may be that person or you may know that person. This is the person when a new project is being rolled everyone looks to see if they support the idea or not. Another sign of leadership aka influence.
How do you lead without a title behind your name? Here are three principles, @John C. Maxwell identifies in his book 360 degree Leader to help leaders bring value and influence to and from every level of the organization (without having to have a title behind your name):
- Lead-Up: Leading up is the process of influencing a leader. This process includes lightening the leader’s load by being willing to do what others won’t, while knowing when to push forward and when to back off.
- Lead-Across: Leaders in the middle of an organization are leaders of leaders. These leaders help peers achieve positive results, let the best idea win, and garner mutual respect. These leaders must develop and maintain credibility, and continually exert influence.
- Lead-Down: Leaders at the top who lead down help people realize their potential, become a strong role model, and encourage others to become part of a higher purpose. This involves walking through the halls, transferring the vision, and rewarding for results.
No matter if you are at the bottom of the hierarchy or the bottom of the hierarchy we all have leadership capabilities even without a title. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”
You don’t need a title to inspire! Be a Leader even without a title.
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