Leadership Starts At The Top…But The Middle & Below Takes It Across The Goal Line

In many of my keynotes, I informally poll the audience on if they view themselves as leaders or not.  

On average less than 1/3 of those polled actually raise their hand.

Here are some of the typical responses from those who didn’t raise their hand:

  • “I don’t have the title or position.”
  • “I’m not the main leader.”
  • ‘I’m waiting until I get to the top, then I’ll lead.”
  • “I’m in the middle (or bottom)  of the company”
  • “What I do makes no difference to the bottom line.”

This is probably the biggest misconception about leadership; this belief that leadership comes from having a position or title. That you can’t lead if you’re not at the top.

In reality, leadership isn’t something you wait around for.  It’s all about influence.  And to become influential you must intentionally add value to everyone, in every situation.

When you grasp this concept you will start to see how leadership is all about choice, and that you can begin to lead from where you’re at right now.  No position or title is needed.

In this episode, we deep dive into how we can shift our mindset and start adding value no-matter where we are in our lives.

Great leadership is learned, and great leaders are made, from the middle and below in organizations.  It’s down in the trenches where real leadership challenges are met and solved.

It’s about having the consistency & courage to meet these challenges head-on, at the lower levels, and being prepared when the higher leadership calling presents itself.

We all have way more influence than we realize.  Once we become aware of this potential, we then realize that even though good leadership starts at the top, it’s the middle & below that will take it across the finish line.

Comments 2

  1. G’day. Im listening in Australia with Stitcher and sent a reply but I think it got mangled in transition. So again…. Letting you know how ‘spot on brilliant’ this episode is. I had the opportunity to meet the Rolling Stones back up singers on their last tour a few years ago now. But never associated them with leadership . Even though I had always said to my teams, ” hey, lead from your area of expertise” – which aligns with your point about influence – value- leadership. Anyway… had to tell you. Great piece. Cheers Ralf

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