A leadership position is different than a position of leadership. Rank, title, position, all of these things give rise to the opportunity to be a leader, but as the saying goes, leadership is a choice and the actions that result from those choices. Often, I hear people use position as an opt out of leadership. "I'm not the boss, so what change can I affect?" The answer? Plenty! Here are three ways to identify (or be) the leadership and change that you want to see in your organisation.
Why do we do what we do? Everyone has their own purpose and raison d'etre for doing what they do but few people understand their organisations purpose. Great leaders look to understand and identify both and help others make those same connections. Through sharing a common vision and purpose, staff are more likely to engage, collaborate and provide greater value to the organisation. As Tony Robbins puts it "Leadership is the ability to create immediate impact and compel lasting, positive change in others. It’s understanding what motivates people and how to harness the power of influence in yourself and others to achieve a greater vision..."
Whether an intern, an officer, a manager or an executive, leaders give their all and they work tirelessly to provide the best possible value for money. They are the first to raise their hand to help others and never heard using the phrase 'that's not my job'. Whether its giving praise to a staff member who is at a low, providing support when someone is overwhelmed or rallying the team to achieve a goal before a tight timeline, leaders read the lay of the land and add value where they can see the best return for the company over just what benefits themselves.
It's hard to inspire or motivate others when you yourself see the glass as half empty, as such leaders often focus on the upside. Every problem is a challenge, challenges are seen as opportunities and failures are lessons to learn and a stepping stone to the next success. This doesn't meant that leaders avoid or can't see problems, but the approach is what's key. When you look at the most successful leaders in the world they have a robust resilience. Great leaders will take a disaster, focus on what they can do, what can be controlled and rally staff to achieve results. They will also take a larger share of the blame and lesser share of the credit.
Through all the above, leaders are builders, they build others skills, talents and confidence. As Drucker put it, the goal of a leader is to create more leaders, this can only be done if you are dedicated to building others up rather than tearing them down.
So no matter where you sit in your hierarchy, ask yourself, am I displaying leadership qualities? People don't set out to be great leaders, they set out to make a difference. It's never about the role or the title, but about influencing others, helping and supporting them and that's something anyone can do.
So go and lead the change you want to see in the world, by being the change you want to see in your leaders.