The Position-Less Leader

“Leadership is something you earn, something you’re chosen for. You can’t come in yelling. ‘I’m your leader!’ If it happens, it’s because the other guys respect you.”

—Ben Roethlisberger

We know that the idea that leadership is bestowed upon a few, select individuals is an antiquated notion. It is not a formal position of authority that determines leadership, but the ability to influence others. Every one of us has the potential to be a leader. So, what gives the position-less leader the power to influence others?

Trust

People follow those they trust. A position does not award you the trust required to be a leader. When we gain the trust of others we are able to influence them because they know that we will look out for their best interest. When we become a trusted advisor, we become a position-less leader.

Competence

People follow those who they see as competent. A title does not prove competence. When we work closely with others they start to have confidence in our skills and knowledge; they see the value of our experience. When we become the go-to person to answer questions and solve problems, we become a position-less leader.

Communication

People follow those with whom they develop good, two-way communication. Authority does not necessarily make you a good communicator. When we develop relationships where we share information; listen because we care; and empathize with others, we gain the ability to influence. With this influence, we become a position-less leader.

It’s About Respect

The bottom-line is: it’s all about respect. Leadership is the ability to influence others; it takes trust, proven competence, and two-way communication. These characteristics are not earned by acquiring a position of authority. They are developed through focusing our energy on becoming a positive force in the lives of others. When we earn their respect, we expand our influence, and become position-less leaders.

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Dr. Liz Stincellihttp://www.stincelliadvisors.com/
LIZ is passionate about recognizing, inspiring, and igniting the leader in each of us. She focuses on helping organizations change attitudes, change communication dynamics, improve collaboration and problem-solving, engage employees, and strengthen organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership. Liz offers 20+ years of pro-active operations management, problem-solving, team-building, human resources, accounting, and business administration experience in a variety of industries. She serves on the Editorial Review Board for the Independent Journal of Management and Production and the Journal of Managerial Psychology. She has also been a guest lecturer at the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business, Westminster College.
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Chris Pehura
Chris Pehura

The same person with the same skills and same background succeeds as a leader when and only when they are introduced as a leader or introduced as a person with the potential to be a leader. Anything else will result in putting mechanism in place to architect the leader’s failure. Sometimes the leader is lucky and given time to demonstrate that they indeed are a leader. But when it involves big dollars and changing big things, this luck is often scarce.

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