Leadership vs Position

Many people assume leadership comes from the position a person holds. The reality is, great leaders are able to lead regardless of whether they are in a position of leadership or not.

An example of this incorrect assumption would be on a high school sports team. Players want to be named “captain” so they can be in a position of leadership. Whether the captain’s are chosen by team vote (at which point it’s typically a popularity contest), or the coach assigns the captain (at which point it’s usually the best player assigned to be captain), this does not make the person (or people) named captain a leader.

Looking back in history, there are numerous examples of great leaders who led without being in a position of leadership. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr was a tremendous leader long before he was in a position of leadership. While he was the first president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, he didn’t receive his ability to lead from that position, if anything, his ability to lead gave that position power. Dr King didn’t wait for someone to bestow him a position, he went out and led based on his individual qualities, beliefs and abilities.

Mother Teresa led through willpower, example, belief and dedication NOT through the power given to her by someone else.

George Washington didn’t become a leader when he became the first President, he became the first President BECAUSE of his ability to lead.

Are you waiting to be put in a position of leadership or are you being a leader on your own?

Have a great day!


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