Do you consider yourself a leader? Most of us are to some degree. We are either the leader of our organizations, our family, our extracurricular activities, our children, or maybe something else.
If you put enough thought into to it I bet that you will find that you lead someone, somewhere in your life. Leadership comes with a higher level of responsibility than being led, and since most of us are leaders to some degree we are called to that higher level of responsibility. We should be careful to not take our responsibility lightly.
We owe it to ourselves and to those we are leading to keep improving our environments and our leadership skills. I believe that there are two different types of leaders. There are natural leaders and positional leaders. Positional leaders are the people who have the title. Mom, dad, manager, supervisor, coach. Sometimes you do not have to do anything but have a child and whether you like it or not you are a positional leader. That child is going to look to you for direction, wisdom, guidance, and much more. Thus you now have a higher level of responsibility. If you’re a manager your employees will be looking to you for leadership in hopes that you can help improve production and profits for the company which in turn should have a positive effect on them. As the coach of a ball team the players are going to be looking to you for guidance and hope that you will have what it takes to create a winning season.
Natural leaders may or may not have the positional status but they are easy to spot. They are the kids on the playground that all of the other kids want to play with. They are the employees that the other employees go to for help or guidance. They are the catcher on the ball team that the rest of the team looks to for assurance. The biggest and most rewarding success that a leader can have is creating leaders all around him.
It is the poor, insecure leader who would prefer to keep his subordinates in a state of stagnation so that he can keep his positional status. This is not leadership but rather dictatorship and dictators always get overthrown in the end.
True leaders like to be surrounded by others of the same flock because they know that steel sharpens steel. It is part of our higher responsibility as leaders to build up other leaders around us in our businesses, families, and sports teams to ensure the success and prosperity of the whole organization.