“Leadership is over-glorified”

I always enjoy sharing Derek Siver’s excellent TED talk, “How to start a movement”. What usually ensues is enlightening debate about the importance of choosing carefully when you nail your colours to the business mast. Leadership is not always about being the first. It’s more often about being totally clear on your stance and letting others know about it.

For many, ‘leadership’ is often misconceived as the sole domain of anyone with leader, manager, head or director on their business card. We can quickly debunk this theory by also recognising that successful leadership is evident in other forms such as:

  • persisting in seeing a tricky project through to completion;
  • encouraging someone else to pursue a burgeoning talent or idea;
  • taking someone else’s great idea, testing it out and carrying it forward;
  • giving tough feedback to people who would otherwise remain blind to the negative impact they have on those around them.

This is everyday leadership in action. This is the under-celebrated and sustaining leadership that keeps the world turning. This is courage, humility and determination combining to create a movement in forward and positive action.

So the next time you hear someone say “I’m no leader…”, remind them that leadership is easily over-glorified, and that wisely following a course you believe in is simply leadership in another guise.

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