There is a post currently doing the rounds on WhatsApp – ‘Leadership is not about the size of your Office or the Title on your Business Card. It’s about the Depth of your Commitment and Your Passion to Get Things Done!’. This quote, in a way, summarizes the difference between a leader and a follower.
All of us have seen people holding important posts, who do nothing more than push files and lord it over their subordinates. They don’t dare to think differently or take risks. At the same time there are people, who though at a junior position, will have a lot of ideas and the charisma to enthuse other people to join in along to implement them. They will be open to trying new things and can inspire their colleagues to do better than they imagine they can. The former, though in a position of power, are obviously not leaders; while the latter, even in their limited spheres, are definitely an example of leadership.
So what about you? Are you a leader or a follower? Here are a few questions to ask yourself to see which end of the spectrum you fall on.
Do you think in terms of problems or opportunities?
Followers are stuck in the problem mindset. They are able to look for solutions but leaders think of problems as opportunities for innovation.
Do you hesitate to take decisions?
Followers usually want to maintain status quo. They do not want to rock the boat and vacillate in taking decisions because they don’t want to be held accountable if there’s a mistake. On the other hand, leaders try to get all facts and act decisively even if their decision does not conform to accepted norms. They are confident and not scared about taking risks. In fact they believe that calculated risks are essential to success.
Are you able to influence people?
Followers, especially if they are in leadership positions, are usually insecure about their status. They expect obedience, are sensitive about anything that seems threatening to their authority and that reflects in the performance of their team. On the other hand, leaders are very secure in their own abilities and encourage others also to give their best. They are able to transmit their enthusiasm and commitment to their team and inspire them to achieve their goals.
To conclude, Leadership is not about positions, it is primarily about your attitude, your mindset. If you have these qualities, you will be a leader in whatever position you occupy in life.