Why A Title Won’t Increase Your Leadership

3 ways to increase your influence and lift the lid of your leadership ability.

Congratulations! So, you finally got that promotion you’ve been chasing. Now you’ve got the official title, better office and a paycheck to go with it, others will definitely start respecting and listening to you now… won’t they?

Nope. Probably not…

All too often when I work with aspiring leaders or leaders who struggle to lead with any kind of influence, the most common comment I hear is; “once I get the title, I’ll be able to  lead more effectively. Nobody listens to me now because I’m not in-charge. If I was in-charge things would be different.”

The sad truth is however, if you can’t lead and influence the people you work with without a title, the chance of you being able to do it with a title is slim.

If you can't lead people without a title, you won't be able to do it with a title. Click To Tweet

Oh you might be able to make people do what you want, direct them, manage them, even bully them with a title, but to lead and influence effectively will take more than just a title.

Leadership is more than marshalling a group of people to do what you need them to do. Most employees will obey you because you pay them. Not because they respect you and actually want to follow you where you’re going. True leadership begins with others choosing (not being coerced) to follow you willingly.

 

Leadership is more than marshalling a group of people to do what you need them to do Click To Tweet

It is to have a group of people who know, like and trust you and allow you to show them the way forward. It is to be able to cast a vision, set a course and gather the resources and people around you to see that shared vision achieved.

While a title might get you started on the way, it will not sustain you through the challenges of forging growth and change or help you get to your destination with a team that still believe in what you’re doing. Only loyal, believe in you, go over and above for you, followers will get you there. And that kind of loyalty can’t be forced, it must be willingly given.

 

While a title might get you started, it will not sustain your leadership Click To Tweet

Leadership expert John Maxwell puts it simply with these two statements:”Everything rises and falls on Leadership [and] Leadership is Influence. Nothing more nothing less.”

In other words your ability to get to where you want to go is going to be dependant on your ability to influence (lead ) those around you. Conversely your failure to get to where you wanted to go thus far is a result of your ability to effectively influence those around you.

 

Everything rises and falls on Leadership Click To Tweet

Ok, so now that we’ve got the cold hard truth out of the way, is there any hope for you? Isn’t leadership something you’re born with? What if you’re not a natural leader? Don’t worry. Yes there are some people who have a natural disposition to leadership but effective leadership can be learned and is not primarily dependant on your natural skill set or ability. Providing you’re willing to learn and put in the work, even you can become a more effective leader. And the great news is; you don’t have to wait until you’ve got “that” title to start… You can increase your influence starting today.

 

effective leadership can be learned and is not primarily dependant on your natural skill Click To Tweet

Here’s 3 tips to get you on the way to becoming a more effective leader and growing in your influence with others.

1.Leadership starts with you not your followers. 

To start on the path to effectively leadership you must recognise that everything rises and falls on your ability to lead not on your followers or teams ability to follow. Lead effectively and people will follow you. Period.

Everybody wants to follow somebody. It’s human nature. Are you the kind of leader that they feel confident following?

To start developing your influence you must start by developing yourself. You will only be able to effectively lead to the level of your own personal growth. Invest your time, energy and finances into growing and developing yourself in every area you can to be an effective leader. As you grow, others will recognise your growth and immediately be drawn to you. You won’t have to convince them, they will see it in you.

 

As you grow, others will recognise your growth and immediately be drawn to you Click To Tweet

Become a continuous learner, read constantly, listen to podcasts, take courses, join mentorship groups, get a coach, surround yourself with strong leaders and your influence will grow.

2. Leadership take time to develop

Becoming an effective leader takes time. Lots of time. Taking one course on leadership will not make you a better leader overnight, it will start you on a path that will need to be continually honed, practiced and extended. Learn to see your leadership growth as a continual journey rather than a destination.

 

Learn to see your leadership growth as a continual journey rather than a destination Click To Tweet

It’s easy to look at world class leaders like John Maxwell, Jack Welch or Jim Rohn and feel discouraged about where you’re at in your level of influence. It’s important to remind yourself that they also started where you are now. John Maxwell’s leadership journey has spanned 50 years. He was not the leader he is now in his 20s. Nor will you be the same leader you are now when you are 50 years along in your journey… Providing you stay the course and continue to learn and grow.

3. Leadership is about people not numbers or titles. 

Finally, remember that effective leadership begins and ends with people. It’s not about the numbers you can pull, the money you can make or even the accolades that may come with it. Nobody achieves their dreams without others who are willing to invest in it. To get to where you are going and leave a legacy worth remembering, you will need people to help take you there.

 

effective leadership begins and ends with people Click To Tweet

Put people first in your leadership journey and you will build a legacy that lives on well beyond your own time. Put profits and results above the wellbeing of people and as quickly as they help you reach your goals, they will bring you back to earth.

Nobody ever quits a company, or project. They quit crappy leaders. If you want others to trust you, follow you and help you get to where you’re going, start by showing them that you care about where they are at and help them get to where they are going.

 

Nobody ever quits a company, or project. They quit crappy leaders. Click To Tweet

Do that and people will want to help you get to where you’re going.

Your turn

Start by changing your attitude and talk about where you are at. If you don’t like where you are in your career or personal life, stop blaming the people around you or trying to find a way to escape where you are and start developing your leadership right now.

Start by looking at yourself and putting a plan together to grow your leadership. Settle in for the journey and enjoy the time it will take to learn how to be an effective leader. And finally start investing in others.

Let me know how you go in the comments….

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