OPINION

How to Lead from Anywhere

In Summary

•The results of leadership (good or bad) can be recognized and felt

In the twenty-first century, positional leadership is constantly questioned. Gone are the days when you said and did whatever you want because of your position. There are tighter systems of accountability, the rise of the internet and millennials are asking more questions. Bottom line, now you need more than position or titles to lead.

Leadership is an effect. The results of leadership (good or bad) can be recognized and felt. And you can create the leadership effect wherever you are; you don’t need position. All you need to do is figure out how and you will effectively lead people wherever you are. Here are four strategies to help you lead from anywhere.

Do Great Work: Some people don’t understand that work is a leadership tool. Your quality of work speaks to your mental capacity, level of engagement and passion. And when you beautifully express your passion, people want to follow you. So, how is the quality of your work? Are you good at what you do? Does your work inspire people? These questions are relevant to your leadership.

Live by Principles: The lion does not eat grass. It’s a principle based on its design and it doesn’t change no matter how hungry the lion gets. What principles do you live by? Are they clear to you? Those who lack clear principles find it difficult to lead.

When you live by principles, you have standards and people align with those standards. In essence, those who agree with your principles will be attracted to you. Now, that is leadership.

Uplift People: I’m tempted to use the term “add value”, but I won’t because I think its cliché in the corporate world; we can be clearer. If you truly want to lead, you have to consciously decide and find ways to uplift people wherever you are. I don’t need to be the boss to encourage someone, affirm another or do something to help somebody move forward. Lift people with your words, attitude and actions and they will follow you. It’s that simple.

Respect Everyone: It’s a common belief that: respect is earned. I do not agree. Trust is earned; respect is a basic human right. Everyone deserves respect. This is how effective leaders think. Develop the mindset that everyone at every station in life is to be respected, not just ‘special’ or ‘privileged’ people. Ensure that you honor everyone and people will line up to follow you. That way, your leadership effect would be strongly felt anywhere.

 

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