To restate John Maxwell, “Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” This statement expresses that a leader is anyone who chooses to be one. Leadership has nothing to do with titles or positions held within an organization or company. The highest level of management may hold a high title, but that does not make them a leader. My hope is that companies and organizations are promoting people and hiring people for certain positions that possess or hold the qualities of good, strong leadership. However, leaders are everywhere.
I have seen leaders in the lowest of positions. A leader is someone who cares more about those around them than they do their title or position. In the education system, we have people labeled teacher leaders. These are teachers who take on responsibility to lead, mentor, and help other teachers. They may not necessarily be in a position of leadership, but their actions and purpose have leadership qualities. Their focus is on helping their fellow teachers become better, supporting others in the profession, and some even take on leadership roles within their school and district. Teacher leaders are about being examples for others to follow.
I believe there are leaders everywhere. However, people don’t know they are leaders because most people see leadership as a position or a title. I want you to remember, leadership is how we act and react toward people. As I mentioned earlier, there are people with leadership titles and positions that are not leaders. Their focus is not on people, but rather money, titles, and things. True leaders are those who focus on people over things. Leaders are the ones who find joy and value in seeing others succeed. Selfless leadership is purposeful leadership.
With that being said, to anyone who reads this, I encourage you to be a leader. I encourage you to take up the responsibility of caring for, supporting, and encouraging others. Don’t be a man or woman on their own island. Leaders don’t live on islands. They have open doors, open borders, and open hearts. Real leaders invest in the people around them. You do not need a title or a position to be a leader. Listen intentionally, encourage wholeheartedly, and support unconditionally. These are qualities of good, real leadership. So the next time you go to the office, the checkout, the gas station, or wherever you call work, lead with purpose; lead selflessly.