By Glen R. Tipton, Leadership Practitioner
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams, US President 1825-1829
“Leadership is the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization” – FM 6-22, US Army Field Manual on Leadership
Leadership in its truest form is not about title or position. Leadership is inspiration, motivation and empowerment of yourself and others for a greater good; for something bigger than our individual selves.
We all have the ability and capacity to lead. Sure, there are born leaders, those who have a natural ability to inspire and motivate others. But we all have the ability, maybe not to lead Fortune 500 companies or perform at the level needed in the C-suite, but we have the ability to lead ourselves. The ability to hone and refine our leadership skills and behaviors. The ability to be leaders within our field of expertise and within our circles of influence, thereby improving our performance and that of others. But leadership is more than just the ability.
Leadership is a Responsibility!
We all have a responsibility to lead. Lead ourselves. Lead our teammates. Lead our organizations and our communities. Everyone at every level of any organization has a responsibility to lead. From the trenches to the corner office. From the time clock to the C-suite. We have a responsibility to lead.
Leadership is our survival and that of others, making us great vs. what lets us fail or worse, just be average. Leadership is our legacy; it is how we will be remembered.
To paraphrase David Dye from the 45 Leadership Gifts You Give and Receive.
You can change the world.
“No matter what you are doing or level you are at, you are in the business of changing the world.
You are probably thinking “But I am just a …whatever”. You aren’t just anything. You don’t just do something.
Every interaction, every day has an impact on others.
You impact the energy (or lack of) that they take home to their families, communities, social groups and civic organizations. You impact their future far beyond the time they spend around you. The motivation, inspiration, skills and leadership you provide spans jobs, companies, careers and their lifetime.
Your products and services affect people’s lives. As a leader, you get to influence how this happens.
Whatever you’re doing has the potential to make the world a better place — if you lead in that direction.”
For the remaining 44 Gifts, click here.
Leadership is a responsibility, at every level. By refining our leadership skills and developing effective leadership behaviors, we will improve our performance and have a positive impact on those around us, cultivating a Culture of Leadership at every level.
A Culture of Leadership which draws in those around us and improves our performance. A Culture of Leadership which starts at the bottom, expanding outward and upward, creating leaders at every level. A Culture of Leadership which fuels off the success of leaders at every level. Creating an ever expanding, self-fueling, upward-spiral of leadership. A “Leadership Tornado”.
The notion that leadership is appointed through position or title is antiquated. Of course a vertical structure is important for cohesive business operations. However this is not leadership it’s management. Don’t get me wrong, managers must also be good leaders, but they are not the only leaders.
Success in today’s V.U.C.A. (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world requires leaders at every level. Leading ourselves, our teams, and our organizations; creating a Leadership Tornado of success.
So, What are you waiting for?
The time is now and the place is wherever you are, no title required.
Create your Leadership Tornado.