7 Ways to Become a Leader Today, Even if you Already Have a Corner Office

The things you do alone, with few exceptions, are not leadership. 


Busyness doesn’t make you a leader, even though leaders work hard.

Not a leader:

  1. Sign papers in your office.
  2. Complete a project by yourself.
  3. Wonder what ‘they’ are doing about the dark cloud hovering over the team.
  4. Develop a plan and give it to your team.
  5. Solve problems and answer questions all day.
  6. Explain why something can’t be done.
  7. Sit in silence when patterns of failure emerge.
  8. Complain, blame, and gossip.
  9. Ignore that uneasy feeling in your gut.
  10. Tell someone what to do.
  11. Wait to be told what to do.
  12. Go home wondering what you did all day. (Leadership is intentional, not accidental.)

Getting things done doesn’t mean you’re leading.

Leaders do everything on the above list. But you aren’t a leader, even if you have a corner office, if the 12 things on the list are patterns in your work-life.

7 ways to become a leader today:

  1. Help others serve others. Turn from focusing on yourself.
  2. Seize an opportunity, rather than solve a problem.
  3. Fuel energy in others. Forget about motivating people. Think inspiration.
  4. See the best in someone, rather than the worst. (Reflect: How does seeing the worst get you what you want?)
  5. Take someone to the next level in their management or leadership.
  6. Engage in forward-facing curiosity.
  7. Connect. Leadership is done in connection, not isolation.

4 things leaders usually do alone:

  1. Reconnect with God, purpose, and self.
  2. Evaluate impact on others. (At least as a start. Others will be helpful with this.)
  3. Give space for others to test their wings without meddling.
  4. Relax and recharge. (Especially for introverts.)

What behaviors in organizational life seem like leadership, but aren’t?

Which ‘become a leader’ question seems most important to your leadership at this moment?

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