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Friday, September 11, 2020

Lean Quote: Leadership Is Not a Title or Position

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Being a leader doesn’t require a tittle; having a title doesn’t make you one.  — Anthony T. Eaton

Whilst position and authority provide you with the potential to lead, it does not make you a leader. You don’t suddenly become a leader just because you have a fancy new title. In fact, you don’t need a title to lead. Every day you can find examples of people with fancy titles that fail to demonstrate leadership.

Leadership has nothing to do with your position, rank, or authority. True leadership is not appointed, mandated, or assigned. If you’re going to make a difference, you will need to sharpen your leadership skills. This means improving your influence.

Here are some traits that embody a great boss:

Inspiration. They’re inspiring. They bring out the best in their employees. They don't micromanage. They create a positive workplace culture and give people wings to soar.

Integrity. It’s one thing to rouse employees with a moving speech, but to actually get employees to trust them is another thing. Great bosses are trustworthy. They’re accountable. They expect everyone to take responsibility for their actions, most of all themselves.

Humility. Great leaders don’t surround themselves with "yes employees." or need their ego to be constantly stroked. They consistently seek opportunities to help and serve others.

Empathy. Leaders who possess this trait are not only interested in the bottom line, but the people responsible for the bottom line. They understand the needs of their followers.

Decision-Making. They are great decision makers. They welcome honest feedback and are not afraid to seek out differing opinions, because their focus is doing what is best for all.

Support. They invest in people. Such managers push employees to grow and develop. They recommend and provide opportunities for staff to reach their full potential.

Humor. Running a business is no joke, but an amazing boss has to be able to see the humor in things. They are strong but light hearted. They don’t take themselves too seriously and put their employees at ease especially in tense situations. They have a great sense of humor.

Appreciation. They appreciate employees. Their passion is people. They make everyone they come into contact with, feel valued. When employees have a boss who truly appreciates them, they are willing to go the extra mile to ensure successful outcomes.

Leaders don’t just occupy positions, they exert influence in order to effect change. They influence people to achieve a common goal. They influence people to deliver excellence. They influence communities and organizations in a way that makes a positive impact. Ultimately, leaders influence by the way that they carry themselves and treat people. They lead by example.

You do not have to be in a formal position of leadership to actually lead–you can influence others where you are now. Do not let your lack of positional authority inhibit your ability to make a difference. You can lead where you are, and you can have a significant impact on the people around you and the organization of which you are a part — that’s leadership.

So instead of focusing on the position you do or do not have, how about focusing on your ability to influence others in a positive and significant way?

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