I grew up looking at a picture of a bald eagle with the inscription:

“Leadership is action, not position.”

I still have the picture in my office.

Finding a better way to think about leadership

A few years ago, I was leading a workshop on leadership and communication when asked which model of leadership I thought was best.

I pointed out that a lot of folks confuse leadership with management, mistake motion for action, and rely on position to define their influence. It gets more complicated if you search on leadership books and courses, only to find all kinds of models, ideas, and ideals.

Conflicting approaches heralded as leadership breed complexity and confusion. Yet each holds value for someone if it helps them lead better.

Assess your leadership with one question

I proposed a better question to assess your leadership and guide your actions:

Are the people around you better because of you?

I believe the mark of an exceptional leader is investing in themselves that they might better elevate those around them.

Are the people you came into contact with today better tomorrow as a result? How do you know?

How did you invest in yourself today to be of better service to others?

Leadership is not title or position

Anyone on a team can lead, regardless of title or position. If title matters to you, send me your business card and I’ll print the word “leader” on it to make it official. You can even show it to others.

Each of us is capable of leadership.

The first role of a leadership is to lead yourself.

And remember:

We lead people

We manage process

And boss no one

Indeed, leadership is action, not position.

What action did you take today to elevate folks around you?

Want some help?

Each Friday, remarkable leaders from all ages, countries, and experience levels come together for office hours. It’s how we develop ourselves and each other. Come join us to develop yourself and elevate each other.

About the Author Michael Santarcangelo

The founder of Security Catalyst, Michael develops exceptional leaders and powerful communicators with the security mindset for success.

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