Often times when we think of leaders we think of the CEO, the President, the VP’s, etc. We view the people holding those positions as leaders, and for obvious reasons. People in those positions are typically the ones making the decisions, creating a vision and mission for organizations, and they have often risen to those ranks through hard work and demonstrated leadership qualities.
And while the people in those positions are often very good leaders, and are in what I call “natural positions of leadership,” you don’t have to have the title to be a leader. When I think of some of the great leaders of the world some people in “high up” positions come to mind: Winston Churchill, George Washington, Steve Jobs and Jack Welsh are a few of many that I think of. All of them were great leaders in their own right, and had they had the “title” to go along with it. But I also think of other influential leaders, who have led without the title: Rosa Park and Mahatma Gandhi among others.
So how do you go about leading when you are not in a “natural position of leadership;” when you don’t have the title to go along with it? I think you go about it the same way a successful CEO or President goes about it. We’ve all seen people be successful in natural leadership positions, and we’ve seen people be unsuccessful in those very same roles. In the end, the title only matters to an extent. The true measure of someone’s ability to lead lies with their personal characteristics and leadership qualities that they possess, regardless of their position or title.
There are many qualities that are important for a good leader to have, but to me some of the most important ones include: integrity, kindness, courage, compassion, hard work, and a vision beyond just the task at hand. I think that if anyone, regardless of title, possesses these qualities or is working to develop them, then they are a leader, and they have the ability to lead and influence those around them for good. My challenge to you is to look to be a leader and an influencer for good, regardless of your title, by focusing on developing these leadership qualities.