By: Dr. Randal Langley
Most people can think of four letter words that express frustration, release anger and hurt relationships… but in life and business it’s a four word phrase that destroys growth and success. “That’s not my job” has no place in a functional organization. The work that needs to be done to achieve success rarely fits neatly into the predefined roles and job descriptions. In other words, the goal is always more important than the role.
Mark Sanborn’s book, “You Don’t Need A Title to Be A Leader: How Anyone, Anywhere, Can Make a Positive Difference” is a great resource that opens your eyes to the potential of leadership and this very principle. If you want to learn how to lead better or teach others to lead, I highly recommend this book.
True leadership isn’t about power over people; it is about power with people. Therefore, anyone regardless of title or lack thereof can make a positive difference. That means:
- Acting with power and purpose, rather than busyness and aimless activity.
- Moving from simply interacting to relating by caring about others.
- Focusing on the success of those around you rather than just your own personal success.
- Looking for opportunities to solve problems and create value.
- Drawing on the power of your team and shared values.
Leaders aren’t created because they were given a position of authority, they are given a position of authority because they have demonstrated leadership skills.
You can define it any way you want, but ultimately a leader’s job is to get the work done. When leaders look for people to promote, they look to others who take responsibility for getting problems solved and getting the job done. Therefore, demonstrating a willingness to do whatever it takes to move your organization forward will get you noticed as a natural leader (and probably earn you a promotion).
Zig Ziglar made a powerful statement years ago that has motivated me to continue to pursue growth and learn as a leader… He said, “Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.” So, prepare for being at the top before you arrive, it’s that preparation that enables you to get there.
Anything else you would like to add to this list?