You’re a leader. Really?

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

John Quincy Adams

The word ‘leader’ is bandied about a lot these days, at times blurred by the muddied waters of labels, titles and job descriptions – ‘manager’, ‘supervisor’, ‘director’, ‘chief’, ‘head’, ‘guru’, ‘prime minister’, the list goes on. But just because you have worked yourself into a position to be called one of these, it does not mean that you are automatically deserving of being called a ‘leader’.

A leader earns their label, and they get it because of the work they do, the humility and integrity they continue to hold, and the people they help and take along with them on the way.

What are your thoughts?

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9 thoughts on “You’re a leader. Really?

  1. It seems to me that you can’t be a leader without followers; therefore, “earning” the title is a gift from others. To follow you, I must – at some level respect you – or in JQA’s terms have been inspired by you. I can, however, imagine being inspired by someone who doesn’t possess humility. I’d prefer that they were, however, and generally dislike those who have it not. I find humility inspiring, but it’s not a necessary condition. Integrity, on the other hand, is a necessary condition. If you have no personal sense of honor, I’m not following you anywhere.

  2. True that! I’ve seen, met and worked with my fair share of leaders who did not “lead,” especially during my time here in Peru. I’d like to agree that a “leader earns their label,” it often seems like leaders are recognized and respected just for having a title even if they don’t live up to it. Maybe karma makes its way around one day, but pseudo-leaders often still benefit from their title for many years.

  3. Leaders do have to earn their stripes. The ability to lead means you have the ability to communicate to others that they should follow you. It can be by your example, your words, or by the results you achieve.

  4. My company is full of Vice President and Directors. They all believe that they are very important. Very funny. I believe that they should lead by exemplarity but that’s far from being the case….

  5. Lovely to hear what people have to say about leadership! I have always thought of leaders as someone who inspires people to follow rather than lead them to do it!

  6. Leaders are people who teach others to be leaders, who know how to build a team, work in a team, instill loyalty, and always show respect for others. Unfortunately, in today’s world, too many so called “leaders” stifle/denigrate rather than inspire others to dream, learn, or do more.

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