Sometimes we confuse authority with leadership.
Managers and executives may have organizational
authority, but that doesn’t automatically make them leaders.
Customer service representatives, programmers, or
analysts may not have that same authority, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t
Anyone can demonstrate leadership within or beyond
their level of authority.
Yet some individuals regularly attribute their lack of
progress to a lack of leadership.
While an organizational leadership void is a
significant problem, blaming our frustrations solely on a lack
of leadership emanating from one person or group reminds me of the
Times have changed. In a command and control hierarchy,
leadership was never required or expected from every “level”. In fact, it was often discouraged.
At the pace of change today a lack of distributed
leadership can cripple an organization. It
slows down decision-making, stifles innovation, and decreases morale.
Today, there are no invitations. No one is going to knock on our door and ask
us to be leaders.
So, while we’re heading to work Monday, let’s ask ourselves these questions:
- Am I demonstrating leadership in my current role?
- Are my actions and words encouraging others to be leaders?