Welcome to the second installment of the 10 Things You Do Not Know About Leadership. In this weekly, series I cover topics that tend to be overlooked, forgotten, or completely misunderstood. By sharing with you, it is my hope and belief that I help in eradicating many of misconceptions that come with leadership.
#2. LEADERSHIP IS NOT A TITLE NOR IS IT A POSITION
Someone, somewhere is selling people on the notion that having a degree automatically makes them a “leader”. Leadership is NEVER automatically given. So please do not be fooled into believing any of that nonsense.
The same applies when it comes to believing that because you hold a certain position you are “automatically” a leader, well guess what? THEY ARE WRONG. And if you believe that having such a position makes you the “automatic leader” well YOU ARE WRONG, as well!
Seriously, if you truly believe that because you have a degree such as a Bachelors, Masters, or Ph.D., MD, JD makes you “automatically” a leader, again YOU ARE WRONG. Of course, and most certainly, you should be applauded for having the self-discipline for going the distance with your education. Kudos to you.
However, your real-world education is just beginning. It is through the education you have along with the real-world experience you are going to earn and the wisdom you will gain that will make you a true leader. Believe it. Believe it as there are no shortcuts.
Remember, nothing is automatic, especially when it comes to being a Leader. So do not make the mistake of thinking you are the “automatic leader”. Believing that hype and then projecting that nonsensical belief onto others will make your true leadership journey all the more difficult to accomplish. Why is that you ask? Simple.
Those you are “automatically leading” will be hesitant and resistant to your efforts. This will then lead you to receive more push-back from those around you. For the most part you arrive fresh without having to prove yourself and expect those to follow you. The push-back will also ensure that you climb to the top will be that much harder, arduous and difficult.
Unless you are prepared to change your mindset to a more genuine and authentic approach to leading, you will be trusted less and more suspect about what are your true intentions.
When it comes to changing your mindset when it comes to the notion of “automatic leader” was your education automatically bestowed on you when you decided to go to college or university? No. You had to work for it. You had to actually crack open a book, attend a lecture or two, and then finally take some tests to see where you are and if you are capable. You had to pay your dues.
There is no difference when it comes to leadership. You pay your dues by learning some valuable life lessons, by getting to know the people you are responsible for. You also pay your dues by getting knocked around by life. You will be tested and whether you pass or fail you will still gain valuable life experience. Again, there is no shortcut to any of this.
You have to put in the work because nothing will be simply handed over to you. There is too much at stake for anyone to just say ‘here ya go.” You will have to prove yourself long before you sit down in the chair of leadership. You will have to prove it to yourself and even then, you will know when you are trying to fool yourself. But don’t worry others will quickly see through you when you are trying to fool them, as well. So, stop with the false bravado or wrong expectations before you start and get to work on your true & authentic self.
Thank you for your time and please come back next week for the 3rd of the 10 Things You Did Not Know About Leadership.