You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader | The Essence of Leadership
I feel like I should repeat the title one more time, but I won’t. It surprises me every time I discover someone who will not exercise leadership or their voice because they don’t have a particular title. Ok, so when I started writing this post, I was only talking about the titles and leadership ability, but as I started going on, I began meshing into the essence of leadership and decided to keep the topics combined. That’s the nice thing about having my own blog and my own rules. ha ha ha
If you don’t know me personally or follow my blogs and social media pages, you may be wondering what inspired me to write on this topic. I don’t recall exactly when I became so intrigued in the topic of leadership, but it has been at least a decade since I started researching and leisurely reading more ion the topic. Actually, I have had an interest in the topic for 10 or more years, but I think the more I interacted with horrible leaders, the more I began to advocate against bad leadership. In the near future, I will once again pursue a doctorate level degree in education with an emphasis in organizational leadership. You probably didn’t want to know that, but oh wella.
Let me switch gears to say, it pays to have an older sister who is a “professional” thrifter. My sister, Shell, has an eye for quality discounted items at the thrift store. I enjoy the deep discounts at thrift stores, but I don’t have the patience to quickly spot the best bargain. Two years ago, Shell found a 99 cent book that ended up being a fantastic addition to my professional development/leadership book collection. OOPSIE, I should probably mention that the book was intended for my mom; however, I’ve been “borrowing” it for the entire two years. Ultimately, I decided I would have better use for the book. The book, entitled, “You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader” by Mark Sanborn, enhanced my knowledge base on the subject of leadership development. Without sharing too many details, this written resource has become one of my favorites.
Mark Sanborn is a “powerful storyteller” who articulates key leadership principles of “titled and untitled leaders.” Effective leaders can shape lives and careers.
What Leadership is or is not
Leadership is empathy.
Leadership is a behavior, not a position.
Leadership is influence, not authority.
Leadership is inspiring others to become better.
Leadership is about producing more leaders.
Leadership is NOT micromanaging.
Leadership is NOT about agreeing in private, but silent in public.
Leadership is advocating for what’s right in spite of opposition.
Leadership AIN’T for everybody.
Leadership is about taking responsibility, not making excuses.
“Leadership is NOT about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge.” Simon Sinek
15 Leadership Qualities That Make Good Leaders
Want to become a GREAT leader? Here are fifteen leadership qualities that can make you a good leader.
- Honesty and integrity
- Inspire Others
- Commitment and Passion
- Good Communicator
- Decision-making Capabilities
- Delegation and Empowerment
- Creativity and Innovation
- Emotional Intelligence
- Vision and Purpose
What Role Does Leadership Play During Crisis?
Globally, we find ourselves experiencing considerable uncertainty due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; is like a bad dream that went from bad to worse in 1.3 seconds. This infectious virus has caused widespread impact on our personal and professional lives. Schools, churches, grocery shopping, large gatherings, and the workplace is not what we used to know two months ago. It’s crazy how one minute my sisters and I were finalizing plans and invites for our mom’s 70th birthday party and then the Center for Disease Control issued guidelines stating we could not gather with any more than 10 people so those plans eventually cancel.
Our school district (Elk Grove School District) led the efforts on school shutdowns. Initially, some community members thought our district overreacted, but soon other districts followed suit. So, Elk Grove district was a leader in protecting the children in our community. As a result, I have a preschooler and high school sophomore who are not in school for the remainder of the school year. Correction, as of yesterday, my sophomore has started distance learning through her school and my preschooler is now receiving weekly curriculum to help keep them academically on task. How does this relate to leadership? Thanks for asking. Without going too far off the topic, it is critical to shed light on the importance of leadership during the time of crisis. Effective leadership is necessary from our Federal and local government, school superintendent, in the workplace and through our community leaders. Actually, quality leadership is necessary within the home with parents but that is a different topic for another day.
Essence of Leadership
I absolutely love an old 2006 video clip of General Colin Powell responding to a question about leadership. He says, “it [leadership] comes down to creating trust. General Powell mentioned how leaders should have “a clear mission statement, offer selfless service, prepare their “followers” and provide resources for those they placed in positions. If you have LESS THAN THREE MINUTES, then check out what General Powell says for yourself. Click HERE to see the brief video.
Honestly, I could chat about leadership and related topics for a long time. I have deep admiration and appreciation for quality leaders. On the flip side, I am DEEPLY annoyed when I see those in leadership who do not have a single key characteristic as a leader should. When I see leaders who lack empathy, have limited communication with those who they “lead” and do not have an advocating bone in their body, it annoys me. It really bothers me when I see amazing, wise and thoughtful change agents who smother their voice or their skill-set because they don’t possess certain credentials or a “leadership title.” No way.
Is that you? Are you one of the individuals who has so much to offer, yet you won’t let your voice be heard because you aren’t in an executive leadership position? If the person I described is you, PLEASE don’t wait for someone to LEAD you to SPEAK UP for yourself. Someone is waiting on you to step into your purpose. Leadership is not only in skill-set workplace or within an organization. You can lead your community, be a leader for your church, or exercise healthy selfless leadership within your family or home. It’s not always comfortable to USE YOUR VOICE and ADVOCATE for yourself, but the time is now.
One last thing. Earlier today, I shared Governor Gavin Newsom’s daily COVID-19 briefing with a note that said, ” I AM SO PROUD TO BE A CALIFORNIA GIRL WHO IS REPRESENTED BY THE AMAZING LEADERSHIP OF GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM!!!! (yes I used all those caps) Thank you, Governor Newsom, for focusing on health, safety, and [the] well-being of 40 million Californians. Thank you for creating an AMAZING bipartisan advisory panel to effectively and strategically address the ‘COVID-19″ induced recession.’ Thank you to our OUTSTANDING Governor for his empathy, emotional intelligence, sound guidance and moral obligation to lead our state. Governor Newsom is a change agent. California is BLESSED to have you. PERIODT (not a typo). Thank you for moving beyond politics. Thank you for your LEADERSHIP.”
It is just nice to know California has a leader who genuinely cares about the people he serves and is doing so much to address the needs of we the people. I couldn’t write an entire thing about leadership and leave Governor Newsom’s leadership out. While I’m at it, I also think Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York is a wonderful leader and will not rest until there is a solution to the devastation that is a result of the coronavirus. I don’t have to be from New York to be grateful for Governor Cuomo’s leadership.
Whether you are a leader with a title or a leader without a title, please let your voice be heard. Maybe you are a union leader, a church leader, a community advocate or a student without a title who is passionate about positive change. Please LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!
Be a Leader That People Follow!
Check out this visual presentation of leadership. CLICK HERE
What are YOUR thoughts on leadership? Is there anything YOU would add to the list of leadership characteristics? What do you think about General Powell’s thoughts on leadership?
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