Titles mean something. Team Leader, Manager, Supervisor, Vice-President- they are all titles bestowed on those who are called by an organization to lead. They have the official duties and responsibilities that go with the title.
John Maxwell says leadership is influence. If that is true, are the people with the titles the only ones called to lead? No. The title gives them some positional authority, but leaders are needed at every level of an organization.
Those without positional authority can and should lead. A team with leaders at every level will beat any team with leadership centralized at the top.
We all have the ability to influence others no matter our title. Leading without the title is the purest form of leadership. I am not suggesting it is always easy. But, it is necessary.
4 Ways To Lead Without The Title
My suggestions take courage. Fear of being ignored, ostracized, or reprimanded may exist. Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage means taking action despite the fear.
Lead Through Words
If you don’t say it, who will? Too many people wait for someone else to say what needs to be said at critical moments. Leaders speak out no matter what title they hold.
Lead Through Deeds
Leaders do more then speak out, they step out. They move things forward through their actions. People follow people who are unafraid to do the right thing or the hard thing. Initiative is a trait leaders have. Take the initiative and others will follow your example.
Lead Through Attitude
“Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching?” Leaders don’t drag others into a pit of whining and despair. At any level, someone has the opportunity to pull others out of that pit. Why not you?
Lead Through Mentoring
Servant leadership creates followers. If someone is willing to put out a hand and help others, it will be noticed. If you see someone struggling – help them. It may be in your supervisor’s job description, but it is your opportunity to influence others.
The Bottom Line:
Some people want to lead, but frustration sets in because they feel their title does not allow them to lead. A title is only as good as the leader who holds it.
Titles don’t make a leader, influence does. We all have opportunities to influence others. Therefore, we are all called to lead.
Lead where you are. The cream will rise to the top. Leaders may not get a new job title, but they will rise in influence.
What situations will you encounter this week that will likely need someone without a title to lead?