When you take a quick look at the leaders all over the world and you watch those that are loved closely, you will see something so simple that stands them out. Some people become great leaders not because of their position but because of their hearts for the people that they are leading. They understand that there is more to leadership than the position.
Anyone going into leadership who does not know much about leadership will always think that leadership is about the position. That’s why you see such people sitting down and trying to boss every other person around. They are not connecting with the people they are supposed to lead. They are only connected to the position. It even gets so bad that the position eventually destroys some people.
Imagine the likes of Martin Luther King. What position did he occupy to lead a great movement in the United States? What was the position of Mother Theresa? Nelson Mandela had a position but we all know that beyond the position he was still leading and it was not the position that made him a leader. You must not make the mistake of thinking that leadership is about the position. In fact, when you have the rare opportunity to lead those who are older than you, it will not take so much time before you realize you have to put the position behind you. When people see that you love them, it becomes easier to connect with them. If they know that you are concerned about the things that concern them they will not hesitate to listen when you talk.
Before you even try to lead people, you should get close to them and try to feel their pulse. Know who they are and understand what their issues are. I have found out that people whose leaders get personal just to know more about them find it easy to follow the leader. They follow the leader not because they are compelled to but because of the interest that the leader has shown in them.
Having a position is powerful and it helps a lot of leaders but there are so many other leaders who do not have a position. I have heard of cases where someone tries to lead by giving out instructions and realizes that the people are not listening. He then notices that there’s another person on the crew whose voice they are listening to. That person may not be sitting in the position of the leader but he is obviously the leader.
Are you the leader in your family? Are you the leader in your office? Have you been made a leader in an organisation? That is great but you need to go beyond the position. When anyone is in a position and he wants to lead just by virtue of the position, you will see that people will just be waiting for when his time in the position will be over. But when there is a leader who connects with the people, they will always want more of him.
So many leadership experts say leadership is influence but have not told the people what the influence is. The influence can be positive or negative so we have to be more specific and say it is positive influence when talking about real leadership. It is in that kind of leadership that you see leaders who ignore their position to lead the people.
If you want to lead by position, you might also be struggling to lead. But when you lead after connecting with the people, the people willingly follow. If you have been made a leader or are about to be made a leader, please bear in mind that your leadership must go beyond your position. That is when you truly lead the people!
Fola Daniel Adelesi
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