Posted in leadership

Positional Leadership

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


Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

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