John Maxwell just released a book last fall called The Five Levels of Leadership. It is a summary of all that he has taught over the years about the subject.
The first position is position. This means someone recognized potential in you and decided to give you a leadership position.
Before we get too far, let’s look at what a leader is.
There are lots of definitions of a leader. A leader is someone who has integrity, character, and a strong personality. A leader is someone who will stand for what is right regardless of the cost or consequences. While some leaders do possess these qualities, not all of them do. But I’m sure you’ll agree that a good, strong leader does.
You may say, “I’m not a leader.” To answer that honestly, though, you have to consider that leadership is about influence. Everyone has some influence somewhere, wouldn’t you agree?
If you said you’re not a leader, you’re probably confining leadership to positions at work. But what if you’re married? You are a leader at home if you have a wife and kids. Note I didn’t say that you are necessarily a good leader, but you are in the role. If you fail at that, what does that mean?
You can relate the idea of leadership to the world of sales. Zig Ziglar says that when a salesman goes on a call, someone makes a sale. It is the salesman when the product is purchased or the service is rendered. If the prospect says “No” then he has made the sale, hasn’t he? He’s succeeded in convincing the salesperson that he doesn’t need or want what is being offered.
If you live alone you still are a leader. Do you hear your self talk? That reveals the kind of leader you are. Does your internal chatter build you up or sabotage your best efforts? You sell yourself daily on whether you’ll have a good day or a bad one. Then your attitude leaks out in your expressions, conversation, and demeanor. Some will be lifted if you’re having a good day; if you’re gloomy, others will pick up on that and be pulled down too.
If you want to be a leader, a position is a starting point. To get there, take a look at your influence.
Is your attitude worth catching?