Am I a Leader?

I taught a class on customer service basics yesterday and also spoke a bit about leadership and the need for leaders in delivering great service.  While we discussed this, I heard some say things like, “I’m not a leader, I’m just an employee” or “when I get into management, I’ll get to lead.”  This drove me nuts.

I am a big believer in the fact that leadership has nothing to do with titles.  Leading others to a better future requires no formal authority.  There are many people with titles who people are reluctant to follow, all the while within the organization there are highly respected people who people willingly listen to and follow.

But how do you know whether you are a leader or not if it’s not about titles or formal authority?  In a recent post by Michael Hyatt, he lists 12 things that will help you make that determination.

  1. You long to make a difference.
  2. You’re dissatisfied with the status quo.
  3. You’re not waiting on a bigger staff or more resources to accomplish your vision.
  4. Your dreams are so big, they seem impossible.
  5. You acknowledge what is but inevitably ask what could be.
  6. You realize you don’t have to be in charge to have significant influence.
  7. You refuse to blame others for your circumstances, and you take responsibility for finding solutions.
  8. You foster unity by bringing people together and encouraging dialogue.
  9. You’re quick to say, “I messed up. Here’s what I’m going to do to fix the problem I’ve created.”
  10. You value relationships more than tasks.
  11. You walk your talk, not perfectly but sincerely and intentionally.
  12. You’re a learner.

Leadership isn’t something you are appointed to, it’s a choice to stand up and show the way to something better than the status quo.  If you see yourself in most of the above list, congrats, you’re a leader.

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