1. Do you have to be in charge to lead?
So, you have probably heard the old cliche that you don’t need authority to lead. No matter what position you hold in an organization, a leader can function in a leadership capacity regardless.
What do you think?
Do you believe this? Can a person in a clerical position for instance be a leader? Do they instead have to strive for the CEO job in order to make a difference?See the need, collaborate on a plan, mobilize a team, see the future happen
No. You do not have to be the "#1" to lead. In fact if you think about it philosophically you always are following someone anyway. So in a sense the question is moot. Leaders lead from where they are now. They identify something that needs to be done, something that needs to change and they mobilize a group to make the change to better future. This could be something as simple as changing the type of coffee supplied in an office facility or something as complicated as creating am independent ministry to serve the poor in a community. See the need, collaborate on a plan, mobilize a team see the future happen
The “Grant” of Leadership
So if you can lead from “another” chair, what does that look like? Leadership is an activity that can be practiced by anyone. It is a sad state of affairs that so few people choose to. Obviously the degree to which you can exercise leadership changes with your position in the organization. An important point to make here is that leadership does not always have a clear power component. That is, often power is bestowed on the leader by the followers. This is not the case with management where power is a requisite part of the role.
Given this, we need to ask ourselves under what conditions will others grant us, either consciously or unconsciously the right to lead them. Remember there is no moment where they stop and grandly say “Sir will you lead us”. No it is subtle. Followers look to those who are a leader to answer tough questions, provide guidance under stress, to create a comfortable atmosphere.
What are the attributes that followers instinctively look for in a leader? Well that would be another post now wouldn’t it ;-)