When you first become a leader, your leadership page is blank and you get to fill it anyway you wish. You can develop whatever style you want as long as it is consistent with who you are. The easiest way to define leadership is by position. Once you have a position or title, people will identify you with it. However, positions always promise more than they can deliver. A leadership position or title does not make you a leader; it allows you the opportunity to become one. True leaders strive to grow into their leadership positions without using their positional rights.
“It’s not the titles that honor the men, but men that honor the titles.” – Niccolo Machiavelli
Good leaders leave organizations when they have to follow bad leaders. Good workers leave an organization when the work environment is poor. An organization cannot rise higher than its leader’s level.
As a new Level 1 (Position) Leader:
- Don’t exercise your rights
- Don’t be possessive about your perks
- Don’t take anything for granted
- Never believe you deserve the position; leadership isn’t a right, it’s a privilege; it must be continually earned; any sense of entitlement will work against you
- Strive to keep the organization and its people moving toward the organizational vision
- Leaders are initiators; focus on making things better for your team members and your organization
Instead of thinking, “Today I became a leader,” think, “today I received a leadership position; I will endeavor every day to become a better leader.”
Reference: John C Maxwell (2011) The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential. New York: Center Street Publishing