Dr. John Maxwell says everything rises and falls on leadership. It is a big statement that rightly puts weight on the big responsibility of being a great leader. How does one become a great leader then? It is about accomplishment, drive, and your will. Your position only holds value if you have proved to actually inspire people to move. A leader knows that to become one, people should choose to follow you for what you’ve done instead of your position.
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I’m going to do a not so popular topic called Leadership. Dr. John Maxwell says, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” That’s a big statement. Dr. John Maxwell has more shelf space in Barnes & Noble than any author in history, any subject, and any category. If Dr. John Maxwell says, “Everything rises and falls on leadership,” does that include successful companies? Does that include divisions? Does that include households? What does that mean? Everything means everything. A subject that is sensitive, somewhat even polarizing inside of companies that I don’t hear a lot of people talking on except Dr. John Maxwell, is leadership.Everything rises and falls on leadership. Click To Tweet
I want to give you my take on leadership and what I’ve seen inside companies inside our own company throughout the years and what factor does it play. More importantly, what can you do even before you get into a leadership position? Some of the questions we hear often as consultants are, “Why don’t my people follow me? How come they don’t listen to me? Why do people quit so often? How come our customers don’t buy from our salespeople?” I want to throw out a little bit of a definition of where leadership comes from.
I would love input to see if anybody could show me that leadership stems or comes from any but the following three areas. These are in no particular order. First, your drive, your will, your desire for something is absolutely magnetic. Even before you accomplish something, your drive is so strong people want to follow you. They consider you a leader before you have accomplished jack squat because your drive is obnoxious, it’s amazing. You are driven.
Number two, leadership comes because your position demands it. You are in a position to demand or request that people follow you. Number three, your accomplishments allow it and almost force it. What do I mean by that? Is your current drive contagious? Are you driven? Are you a vocally driven? Are you action-proven driven? Do you get there early? Do you stay late? Does everything coming out of your mouth have to do with where you’re going? Do you speak only positive? Are you just one-driven SOB? That’s number one.
Number three, are you in a position where you have a title and thereby you think people should follow you? Most importantly, have your accomplishments to date been so significant and made such a statement that people are going to follow you the rest of your life? I love this example of how accomplishment allows leadership. I don’t believe in this one as the best cause of leadership, I believe that drive should be the cause of leadership and the qualities and sheer work habit of that drive.
When I was a teenager, in 1985, the Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl and Mike Singletary was the linebacker. He was considered by many to be the greatest linebacker that had ever played the game. We had a lot of great linebackers, Dick Butkus and many other people come through the Bears. Mike Singletary was considered incredibly sharp, fast, and strong. He had incredible foresight into where that play was going. His accomplishments on the field, making the Pro-Bowl, they were so incredible that when an opening came, he immediately got a head coaching position, which is literally the top of the food chain in the NFL. Instantly by the second game, everybody around him realized, “This guy is not a good leader. He’s not a good coach. He’s a great player, decent manager, meaning assistant coach, but he’s definitely not cut out for leadership material.” He was fired almost immediately.Accomplishment allows leadership. Click To Tweet
The point is the positional leadership. If you currently are in a position and you’re thinking people should be listening to you because of your position, I would beg of you to go do something, go accomplish something so that your accomplishments are why people want to follow you, not because of your positional leadership. Everything rises and falls on leadership, the success of a division, family, and a company. Then you have to ask yourself, “If that’s true, what is the best type of leadership?” The best type of leadership comes from an accomplishment-driven leadership where it creates a wake of people that because of your self-edification of what you’ve done, they cannot wait to follow you out of pure respect. I hope this helps. Take care.