Being in a Leadership Role Does Not Make a Leader

Too often, people occupy positions of leadership, but they aren’t leaders. Just because they have the title doesn’t mean they are worthy of being called a ‘leader’.


How do you know if YOU are worthy of being called a leader? Here are 5 questions from an article written by Brian Evje for Inc meant to help you judge for yourself if you are worthy of being called a leader:

Am I leading for my own gain, or for the good of the shared purpose?

A common complaint about leadership is that people in power are in it only for themselves.  … By basing your decisions and behaviors on what is best for the shared purpose, and not yourself or your favorite employees, you establish and promote an expectation of fairness and prioritize the greater organizational good over individual gain.

Actively connect what you do to this common goal–and talk to others about how they can do the same.

If I am an accidental leader, what am I doing to legitimize my position?

Some leaders arrive in their positions by chance, circumstance, or accident.

In those honest moments when I clearly see what most frightens me about leadership, what do I do to get help?

Leaders need to see their fears as clear signals. It takes considerable courage to answer your inner voice when it says, “I don’t know what I’m doing!” by seeking help to grow as a leader. … Growing your leadership is possible when you don’t hide from or ignore your fears.

What do I do every day to encourage people to tell me the whole truth, and how do I encourage myself to tell others this same truth?

As a leader, you cannot expect complete candor from others until you provide it. You must continually seek out the truth and make it okay for others to tell you the truth. You do this first by being honest, practical, and level-headed.

How does my leadership help others be the best they can possibly be?

Time is short. Your tenure in a meaningful leadership role may be brief, and life itself is preciously fleeting. Our most meaningful experiences usually involve relationships and interactions with other people. … What matters is being the leader who focuses the fullest abilities of the team, inspires and guides individuals to new levels of insight and creativity, and unlocks the vast, untapped possibilities of a group’s shared purpose. Get this right, and the right measurements will follow.

This is worthy leadership.




Image courtesy of PhotoSteve