Do you know anyone in your organization that flaunts their title as their only means to get things done?
In Amy Modglin’s early days as a leader, she honestly believes that leadership was all about her. Like many who sit in a leadership position, Amy thought everyone would follow and respect her because of her title. According to Amy, “I didn’t think leadership was something I needed to work hard at. I had already arrived.” Luckily for Amy, she had a few great leaders who cared for her and confronted her selfish attitude.
This is something that continues to boggle my mind, and I am always left dumbfounded by companies who consistently recruit and promote people without any form of leadership mentoring, coaching, or training. Everyone can be a leader, but many people don’t want to do the work required to become leaders. It’s easy to bark out orders, boss people around, use your authority to get people to work, threatened people with termination if people are not performing.
It takes work to coach, mentor, motivate, and inspire people to produce their very best work. It has nothing to do with using force or manipulation. It’s all about treating people with respect and creating an environment that will allow everyone to become the very best version of themselves. It’s incredible how many people believe that people will automatically respect and listen to them once they obtain a certain title or level of leadership.
People who operate from a traditional concept of position & title believe that a large amount of power is granted to them based on their title alone. They are often unable to look beyond the roles and responsibilities of their title to see how their performance, attitude, and general behavior affect others. Their lower emotional intelligence may perceive others as lesser, using manipulation to acquire influence while further reducing the integrity and the trust others place in them.
Many of these positional leaders, according to John Maxwell, love to instill fear in their organization; every word or phrase is based on fear in an attempt to hold onto control. They love to use phase like “your job is on the line” ‘you can be fired if the project fails to deliver the required results”; I even heard a manager tell their staff, “many of you have a Mortgagees, car payments and rent, and if you are fired from this company you can lose your home, car and live on the street.
Many people fall for this kind of nonsense because of their mental conditioning and lack of confidence to the point where they even adopt these kinds of ridiculous strategies in their own managerial space to get their staff to perform. Fear, manipulation, control and your title should never be used as any means to influence your people to work; if this is your tactics, you need to evaluate yourself because you will never build anything of value with this foolishness.
The beauty of leadership lies in the fact that a person does not need a formal title to prove that they are leaders. People follow leaders because of their values, vision, passion, purpose, inspiration, and many more. It’s not about rank, power, or your place on the org chart; it’s all about inspiring people to believe in themselves, believe in their gifts, believe in their potential, and to believe in something much greater than their own self-preservation.
When you have that type of influence, and people choose to follow you voluntarily, you are on the road to becoming a great leader.