If becoming a leader was like getting a promotion, things would be so much clearer. Sure, a promotion comes with more responsibility and power, but is that what makes someone a leader? Unfortunately rarely, if ever, does a title make someone a leader. You have those in high-ranking positions that don’t show leadership, and you have exemplary individual contributors that show up with fistfuls of leadership.
So how do you know when you are a leader?
And ask any millennial if they are a leader and watch the imposter syndrome wash over them. Rarely do managers consider themselves leaders. I’ve seen business owners, speakers, students, introverts, extroverts, and everyone at every level rejecting the title of “leader”. Leader is a title that carries a lot of responsibility and no clear articulation.
Crossing the threshold of leadership.
If this didn’t bring any clarity, try finding out when you define yourself as a leader. Many people may have stories about when they rose to leadership, but in reality, it’s not just one moment, it’s a series of choices, events and actions that build your leadership over time. Those moments are not what create or define leadership, they are the moments of realization and reflection that allowed them and others to recognize leadership when it smacked them in the face.
Ultimately there are 2 people that can call you a leader. Yourself, and others
Most people look for approval from others to define if they are a leader. It’s easier when someone calls you a leader, it gives you permission for you to use the term too. For many, this confirmation is how they start to think of themselves as leaders. They hear how others respond to their ideas. They see if their requests go through. They notice when others turn towards them.
Having the confidence to call yourself a leader is a big step. Owning the tile and taking the responsibilities that come with it is hard for everyone. It can feel uncomfortable, overwhelming and unauthentic. Can you really give yourself that title? Yes, and... you have to feel it and earn it. Acknowledging that you are a leader means that you own it, and hold yourself accountable to that standard. Not an easy thing to do, but if you want others to call you a leader, you’re going to have to believe them.
If you ARE a leader are you acting like one? If you WANT to be a leader, are you acting like one?
Are you preparing to be a leader? What does it take to feel like a leader? During the Emerging Leader Experience, we go through all the basics of self-leadership so that you can build the confidence, skills and tools to step into leadership. Because when you show up with leadership for yourself, that’s when you become a natural leader that others begin to follow.
Ask 150 different CEO’s what leadership means, and you will get 150 different answers.