Recently, I was confronted with a challenge about leadership from another post. My comment was, “Everyone leads.” The disagreement revolved around the difference between leading and being a leader.
Given a moment to consider, we can understand the disagreement. While many sing, few are singers. (I am proof of this!) While many build, few are builders. Many golf, paint, write, play harmonica or garden, but not many are, well, you get the point.
So where do you draw the line? With many of the above, we might say that someone is a singer, golfer, etc. who derives their income (or attempts to) from their pursuit. However, with leadership, or followership, there is a difference. Is someone a leader who spends the majority of their time leading? What about people who supervise others? What about parents, people in authority positions, elected officials, teachers, coaches.
Even if you’re the lowest person on the totem pole at your workplace or in your family or circle of friends, you can not only lead, you can become a leader. A leader is one who influences; who has followers. You can influence others for good or bad. Many times we refer to a persons friends and connections as a “sphere of influence.” Your Twitter followers, Facebook friends, coworkers, drinking buddies, neighbors, your family and anyone else is in your sphere of influence. Unless you spend ALL your time getting direction from ALL of the people in your sphere, you must be leading some! Think about it. Everyone leads. Maybe the difference between one who leads and a leader is practice.
So how are you practicing your leadership? What can you do to grow, to become, or be, a leader? Please comment with your suggestions.