Leaders don’t sit back and point fingers. Leaders lead with the authority of leadership… or without it. The authority is largely irrelevant – if you are a leader, you will lead when you are needed.
You Are A Positive Force of Change
“If only I had more authority. I could fix these problems.”
Have you ever found yourself having these thoughts? It’s not the authority you needed. Instead, you need to accept the authority you have and then use it wisely to cultivate influence and make things better. Start with your circle of influence and make sure that you are a positive force of change rather than a source of negative energy.
Authority vs Leadership
In his TED Talk “Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe,” Simon Sinek explains, “Many people at the top of organizations are not leaders. They have authority, but they are not leaders. And many at the bottom with no authority are absolutely leaders.” Sinek is differentiating between authority and leadership and makes the point that they are not a package deal.
From Good to Great
Leadership expert, Jim Collins, agrees. He writes, “For many people, the first question that occurs is, ‘But how do I persuade my CEO to get it?’ The answer: Don’t worry about that…each of us can create a pocket of greatness. Each of us can take our own area of work and influence and can concentrate on moving it from good to great and leaving it better.
Lead Right Where You Are
Collins makes a great point. Our focus doesn’t have to be simply on persuading those in charge to effect change. What you can do is focus on your own area of responsibility and make it grow. We need to avoid the trap of thinking we are passive victims with nothing we can do. Each of us can begin to lead right where we are today.
Collins continues, “Take responsibility to make great what you can make great. And let others do it in the areas that they can make great. And if the whole company doesn’t do it, you can’t chant that. But you can take responsibility for your area.”
It is time for each of us to focus on our area of influence and start leading.
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