Are you a leader?
Leadership is influence — nothing more, nothing less. You, and everyone in your company, have a certain degree of influence, and you do not need to be in a position of authority to exercise it.
For example: Tina and Tommy work for an organization as gatekeepers, answering incoming calls and attending to walk-in traffic. Do they have the ability to lead the organization? The answer is yes; Tina and Tommy influence all incoming calls and customer perceptions, as well as internal relations with their colleagues and managers. They are leaders — or, at least, they can certainly be leaders when they are taught and develop the skill of influencing others.
Whatever your position, you have the privilege of influence.
When you can learn to influence other people in a positive way, you begin to lead. Leadership is both a concept and a way of action — it’s what you do that makes you a great leader. Everyone has the ability to lead, no matter where they are in the hierarchy of an organization.
People ask whether leaders are born or developed, and my response is that leadership is the result of a choice that we all make. It is possible that some people have more natural leadership skills and attributes than others. While everyone matures into leadership at their own pace, the choices we make towards this maturity can be taught and learned. Everyone has the power to make these choices. Here are a few examples of these choices that greatly enhance our ability to influence others:
· Using the Golden Rule (treating others as you would like to be treated)
· Being passionate for who you are
· Taking responsibility
When someone chooses to be influential, they take responsibility for a task at hand, and do what is necessary to bring that task to completion. If the task fails, the leader can also take responsibility for that as well, and does not attempt to place blame on other people or circumstances.
Leadership is where the change happens within a person’s life and within an organizations life.
For individuals making the choice to change, they feel better about themselves as they recognize their potential to lead their own lives. When individuals feel in control of themselves, they will also feel freer to continue creating the life that they want to live. I have always said that the only security we have is within ourselves. We must take this responsibility.
For organizations, the change in having more leaders enhances employees’ engagement, productivity, and profitability. Successful businesses of the future will be those which can quickly make leaders of everyone in their organization.
I will write more about developing leaders around you in my next monthly article, but don’t wait — start making the choice today to be more influential, no matter what your position in the organization is. You can make a difference, and it starts with the leader in you.
P.S. The Greatest You is an audio program that I have developed to help people make leaders of themselves. Available as a double-disc series for listening to while in your car (also transferrable to your iPod!), this program is a great way to start moving toward making the choice to become more influential.
Purchase online at http://www.pennytremblay.com/default.aspx?ctl=ctl_ec_products_in_category&category_id=47