Leadership is not about position…
Leadership is about adding value to others. How can we make sure that we have something to give? After all, we cannot give what we do not have.
In “Developing the Leaders Around You,” Dr. John C. Maxwell presents a series of questions that followers ask of their leader. These same questions should be used by the aspiring leader to make sure that they are developing themselves to have something to give. See how you are doing in each of these areas.
How is your character?
Does your life model the behaviors and character that you want in your team? Do these behaviors and characteristics show the type of character that others would admire? Study after study show that integrity is critical for the leader to succeed. Do you think that a follower would want to be like you? We attract people who are like us, not like those we want. So if you are having trouble attracting the kind of people you want on your team, take a look in the mirror. If there areas in your character that need to be shored up, start there.
If a man’s associates find him guilty of being phony, if they find that he lacks forthright integrity, he will fail.–Dwight D. Eisenhower
Are you influencing others?
Remember, leadership is not about position. You don’t need an official position to be a leader, because leadership at is most basic element is influence. That being said, people may want to see that others are following you before they sign on. And remember that people buy into the leader before they buy into the leader’s vision. This is not a chicken-and-egg issue. If you have integrity and strengths others admire, you will begin to gain followers. Then others will gravitate toward you. To get those initial followers, you have to show that there is value in following your lead.
He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk.–Leadership Proverb
What do you have to give?
What are your strengths? People will not follow you long if you don’t have something to give. Examine your life and ask what strengths you have. Ask some others for their input. Are you good at leading a diverse team? Do you have the ability to see the big picture? Are you able to provide good insight in difficult situations? Perhaps one of the biggest questions of all is, are you still growing? Focus on developing your areas of strength so others will see those areas and seek you out.
What is your track record?
Have you developed other leaders? People who want to develop into leaders themselves are looking for leaders that have a track record of developing others into leaders.
Those closest to the leader will determine the level of success for that leader.–John C. Maxwell
If you haven’t developed some of your current team members into leaders, what are you waiting for? Good leaders develop leaders. Spend some time focusing on those in your team that want to develop into leaders. Understand their drives. Then work together on a development plan to help them become an even better leader than you!
The true measure of a leader is not found in accomplishments for themselves, but in the success the individuals and teams that he or she leads!