Leadership Is Not A Title

My heart stopped today as my son told me how he was still upset that he didn’t achieve a Leadership role in his Grade Six year (2 months on since the announcements). He and a mate have been discussing a boy, once a good mate, who had made a terrible speech (Patrick himself had shaken with nerves and very embarrassed) and that the boy didn’t deserve his role because of his speech. We further explored other possible reasons and unearthed that this boy wasn’t consistent in his ‘integrity’ – one of the school values.

I hope I made a good job with my advice (holding back tears), launching with “Leadership is not a title” – explaining the importance of influencing the best outcome, investing time in others, being proactive and always being positive – these being the leadership traits that he should be demonstrating which would make the difference at his school. Ending with, “A badge doesn’t give you a superpower.” (I like that one!)

Working with the world of academia last week I was being provocative by suggesting that the audience,  a group of woman, stood behind their titles of ‘Professors’, whereas, what they needed to do was to stand up and be known for their leadership.

Unfortunately, many folk are ‘awarded’ or ‘rewarded’ with the title of Leader in their role and are still operating in a world of management. Or, they are a technical expert in their field and expected to change, overnight, into a leader of people without guidance and sadly a ‘role-model’ or mentor to guide them in a direction which makes a difference to the people they are responsible for in their organisation.

Leadership is not a title; it is what others observe in you, something they feel given the climate created given your presence and its how people behave given what you do and say.

We cannot blame others for their lack of leadership, we must lead and make the difference in others’ lives.

I left Patrick today with three actions: a simple affirmation of having a great day, to be great at something he studies today and he named the third action – “Mum, I’m going to be proactive.”

That’s my boy!!!

Louise is passionate about leadership. She is excited
by observing great leadership in action and regularly blogs and tweets about her observations.



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