Each time we talk leadership there are those who still argue that they are not leaders and they don’t want to be a part of any leadership talk or training. They are so convinced that they are not leaders and they think they are not called to lead. I think that perception stems from thinking that leadership is only a position of authority.
Following that thought, it will be very important to remind you that there are those who are leading because they have positions and there are those who are leading because of their responsibilities or statuses in the society. One way or the other, everyone, including you, is a leader. The only thing that may differ is the sphere of influence in which we are leading and the size of people we are leading.
There are so many simple things that point to the fact that you are a leader. Think for a moment. Do you have a child or any of your siblings around you? Have you noticed that when you try something out they also do exactly the same thing? While that may seem insignificant to you, it is a phase of leadership because you are influencing the action of another person.
Someone is watching the way you dress and is doing the same. Someone is watching the way you talk and is doing the same. They may not even understand why you do what you do but they do those things because you do them.
Recently I was whistling in front of my daughter who is not yet 2 years old. The next thing she does is to try to whistle. And there are so many other young folks like that. They watch what you do and they think thats the thing to do so they do it. My point is that there are people watching you and you may not even know it but they are following what you do and will always do the same.
The other side is when you are always given responsibilities to handle. So many people think that being the leader also means you are the boss. They have completely forgotten or they dont even know that leadership is service. You cant be a leader and not be serving other people. I have also seen that those who succeed in leadership are not those who seat and wait to be served by others. They are those who take their responsibilities serious and they serve other people. Check your life and see if you have been getting responsibilities. If people have been giving you responsibilities consistently then it means that you are getting opportunities to lead through service. You are a leader and you cant change that.
Another way you will realize that you are a leader if it has not occurred to you is when people rely on you for important decisions to be taken. You may have friends who just come around and they may not decide what to do until they have spoken to you. it could even be people who are older than you who are consulting you or some people who are younger. So long as people are coming to you for important decisions to be taken then you are already leading. You may call it counsel. You may say the person just sought my opinion. Well, remember there are those referred to as opinion leaders. Ultimately, an opinion leader will help others make decisions and consequently control their behaviours. That’s because the opinions given will determine what they do. So if you have told people to do something and they do it you need no other proof that you are a leader.
You have had enough of denial about your leadership status or capacity. The next thing for you to do is to start developing it. Don’t ever say you are not a leader again because you have already been leading unconsciously. What you should do is to find those ways in which you have been leading unconsciously and begin to lead deliberately. We don’t need accidental leaders because they can be the cause of disasters. We need those who are conscious of leadership and are leading deliberately. Lead because that it your life.
Fola Daniel Adelesi
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