How Leaders Emerge

This post was first published in Linkedin Pulse by the author.

As organizations grow, there is a need for more people in the team to emerge as leaders.

A high potential employee in my organization recently had a discussion with me where he talked about wanting to be given a “leadership opportunity.” We had an interesting discussion about what “leadership” really means.

Bunch of colourful pencils
Here are a few thoughts I shared with him that you may find useful as you ponder over leadership too:

  • Leadership does not come by carrying a designation. Very often true power in a team does not rest with the designated leader but with the person who assumes leadership behaviors.
  • To be a leader, learn to be a good follower first. A good follower as I would define it is one who would do everything in his ability to make the leader successful. Yet, he will stay humble and will show fierce loyalty in public (though he may disagree in private).
  • Leadership is an action word – every single person has an opportunity to display leadership if he chooses to, regardless of his job or function. And it is often displayed in the smallest and the most daily of behaviors.
  • It is the law of the world: it unfailingly rewards you in direct proportion to the “value” that you deliver to it, whether it is to the organization or to the world.
  • And finally, you don’t get a “leadership opportunity” and then display leadership. It is always the other way round (unless your Dad owns the business).

Does some of this resonate with you? Do share your thoughts!

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