Nov 122012

Does Being In A Position Of Leadership Make You A Leader?

Now that the election is over, we can settle into a more normal routine without the constant bombardment of negative ads, false accusations, and hyperbole. Regardless of your political affiliation, you have to ask yourself if the elected officials actually possess the skills and traits to call themselves leaders. Being in a position of leadership does not make them leaders.

Being in a position of leadership is a responsibility they should not take lightly. Individuals should step into their leadership role with compassion and a responsibility for others, all others, not just those affiliated with one party or another. Isn’t this a radical idea these days, to be a leader for all the people, regardless of their political affiliation, color of their skin, or religious beliefs? That’s right, religious beliefs. Religion has become a factor in the political process. It’s scary how the more we send our troops to fight for freedom in the Middle East, the more we behave like a Middle Eastern country. Don’t think it’s true? Just look at how religions has become embedded into our political process, and the anger and hate it generates among candidates and constituency groups.

Civility has left our political process, and there are few, if any, elected officials who have the will power to demonstrate effective leadership. It’s not hard to do; anyone can be a leader, regardless of where they are in an organization or elected body. Leadership is not about a position; it’s about demonstrating leadership traits.

Many individuals don’t consciously prepare themselves for leadership. Perhaps they are born with some leadership qualities, or they model someone, learn it from leadership programs, or consciously have the self-discipline to become an effective leader. For some people, it’s all the above. I have worked for some very effective leaders and some ineffective ones (don’t ask me for names of the ineffective ones). The effective leaders demonstrated the key characteristics people look for in a leader: honesty, forward-looking, inspiring and competence.

John Maxwell, author of Developing the Leader Within You, writes about the five levels of leadership.

  1. Position – People follow you because they have to.
  2. Permission – People follow you because they want to.
  3. Production – People follow you because of what you have done for the organization
  4. People Development – People follow you because that you have done for them.
  5. Personhood – People follow you because of who you are and what you represent.

Too many politicians are leaders by position. Wouldn’t it be nice if they would strive to become leaders by personhood?

Individuals in a position of leadership have a tremendous amount of influence, something they should not take lightly. They should develop great teams, develop others, understand basic human needs, select good people, show compassion, know what is required of them, keep improving, and communicate effectively. Most important, they have to accept final responsibility.

Leadership development is important in politics and in business, no matter the size of the organization. If your company or organization has one hundred employees, one inferior employee is a loss of 1 percent. If it has two employees, one inferior employee is a loss 50 percent. If you are a sole proprietor, imagine, your business could be 100 percent inferior. Don’t make the mistake that you can get by with inferior leadership because you are in a large organization, or don’t need leadership development because you own a small business.

I offer you and your employees the opportunity to enhance your leadership skills. The Ascending Leader’s ProgramTM is developed to assist those you value. When you can’t hire the best, hire those who can become the best, and give them the leadership tools to excel.

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