POWER & POSITION DON’T EQUAL LEADERSHIP. That was the conclusion I came to recently.
It was the discussion on leadership recently that got my mind questioning and processing on the subject. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Just because someone is in charge of something, or has a position of authority or power, doesn’t necessarily mean they are a good leader.
Sure, people get promoted on a daily basis. Or, they are placed in charge of a project or people. Or maybe they are just great influencers that wind up in the front of the room and get people motivated. But the traits and the characteristics that come with good leadership don’t automatically come with a title or a position. Those skills have to be learned and honed. And respect has to be earned.
For example, just because you had children doesn’t make you a great parent. Sure. You are now in charge, but are you good at it? Only time will tell. If your desire is to parent well, and if you work hard at it, yes, you will more than likely be a success.
Likewise, if you suddenly find yourself a vice president or a CEO of a company, does that mean you will have happy and productive people reporting to you due to your people skills and leadership? Again, only time will tell.
One bit of proof to this theory would be to simply take a look at the people in charge in our world today. If the folks in congress were such great leaders, how did we end up where we are as a nation and with this lousy economy? If those professionals in charge at our nation’s banks were so fantastic, why are so many of them closing up shop and disappearing into the mist? And too, if the heads of the car companies up North were so great, why did we have to go and bail out their organizations with tax payer’s dollars as well?
Again, just because you and I are in charge of something or someone – doesn’t mean we will be good at it. Leadership. Great leadership. Takes work. And to be a good leader you have to be willing to learn what that exactly means and what it entails.
If you are a person that has been given a place of responsibility, may I suggest you take some time in the next few weeks to find a good book on leadership and brush up on your personal leadership skills. Look at companies and organizations that are well led and that are currently running smoothly. Ask yourself “why?”. Do some research and see what you can find out about them. Then, try to apply a few of those new learned tips to your present situations.
It certainly will be worth your time. That is for sure. And another thing, the people that report to you or work with you or have to live with you will be glad you did. They too, want you to be the best leader that you can be. It means a better life for them as well as you.
If a few minutes of your week and month studying leadership can lead to a better environment overall, it will certainly be worth any time and energy that is spent.
Just my thoughts.