Leadership Improvement Begins by understanding what leadership Is
Your title has absolutely nothing to do with your leadership. It's certainly not the key to leadership improvement, either.
In every organization, there are certain people who are at the top of the organization. But that does not make them leaders. That might make them senior managers. We might call them executive team members. But it's a misnomer to call them leaders.
Leadership is not about positional power. Leadership is not something that's given to you because of your place in the hierarchy. The organizational chart is not what determines who as a leader. If "leadership improvement" in your organization is reserved only for the folks at the top, then it's missing the mark.
Leadership Improvement Starts With You
You know plenty of people (we all do!) who are at the tippy top of an org chart, but they actually aren’t leading. They don't have people who are willing to follow them.
By the same token, we all know people with absolutely no positional power -- people who don't even have direct reports -- but they are leaders by any definition. They do have people who are willing to follow them. They have influence. They are able to get things done, and they take people to new places.
It’s not because of their position or authority. It's because of how they interact with others and the ways that they are able to show something new and different and exciting to people.
Let's add one more dimension to this. At times, every single one of us is a leader. We have all been leaders at some time in our lives. Other people have watched to see what we will do. Other people have emulated what we've done. Other people have followed us. They follow our lead. In that moment, we were leaders.
You already are a leader, no matter what your title is, and no matter who else is higher than you are on the org chart. You are a leader, and you can choose to lead, to be influential, and to bring others along with you in any situation. That's not disrespectful to the people who are senior managers. In fact, done right, there would be leadership at every level. Each person would be empowered to lead, and that leadership would all be in one accord.
For impact throughout the organization, leadership improvement should include leaders at every level.
You Can Work Independently on Leadership Improvement
If you’d like to learn more about becoming a leader or developing your supervisory skills, be sure to check out our popular program Workplace Conversations. It’s available to organizations of any size as a group workshop or for self-paced e-learning you can access on your own. You can learn more about executive coaching and other ways we put people first at www.peoplefirstps.com.