If I had to identify the number one misconception people have about leadership, it would be the belief that leadership comes simply from having a position or title. But nothing could be further from the truth. You don’t need to possess a position at the top of your group, department, division, or organization in order to lead. If you think you do, then you have bought into the position myth.
A place at the top will not automatically make anyone a leader. The Law of Influence in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership states it clearly: “The true measure of leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less.”
Because I [John] have led volunteer organizations most of my life, I have watched many people become tied up by the position myth. When people who buy into this myth are identified as potential leaders and put on a team, they are very uncomfortable if they have not been given some kind of title or position that labels them as leaders in the eyes of other team members. Instead of working to build relationships with others on the team and to gain influence naturally, they wait for the positional leader to invest them with authority and give them a title. After a while, they become more and more unhappy, until they finally decide to try another team, another leader, or another organization. People who follow this pattern don’t understand how effective leadership develops.
[Taken from The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization (2011) by John C. Maxwell. Published by HarperCollins Leadership]
If People Need a Title to Lead,
Don’t Expect Them to Soar like Eagles.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.