“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader” – John Quincy Adams
“In a gentle way, you can shake the world” – Mahatma Ghandi
You become a leader once you are a rallying point over a particular cause
Many people have thought that they can never be a leader because they do not have a title neither do they have a position that could be a platform for them to exercise their leadership potentials. This line of thought may not be true after all of the various quotes above have shown that what it takes to lead is much more than having a title or a position. There are many title holders and people in positions who are actually taking a walk because they do not have people following them. In other words, they are not leading. Those who are following them are doing so because of their positions and the authority that comes from such positions. However, there are many who are leading and have become leaders in their own rights but do not have any title or position. This article highlights the possibilities of being a leader without having a title or position.
Source of Inspiration
As John Quincy Adams quote has depicted that if your actions are a source of inspiration to others, you are a leader. Everyone who wants to be a leader must be conscious of his actions and words as he must be aware that these are meant to inspire others. Individuals who want to lead are aware of the impact of their words and actions on a lot of people so they are very cautious about it. They know that their actions are serving the needs of a lot of people including theirs so they consciously make it an action or words that will inspire others.
Mastery of Knowledge in a Particular Area
When you have mastery of knowledge in an area, you become the reference point in that area and you become the rallying point. People look up to you for knowledge in this area. This area of interest could be leadership, engineering, social sciences, sales and marketing, human resource management, finance and many other areas of concern to different individuals. You become an authority, however, mastery of knowledge must have a proof of the results you turn out. You must avoid speaking a lot of grammar without proofs to show. A title is not needed to achieve this. You do not need to be a professor or a doctor of philosophy before you can claim mastery of an area. I say this cautiously but I have seen a lot of Indians who have demonstrated mastery of technical matters such as engineering, construction, and sciences including sales and marketing but such individuals may not have a master’s degree
You do not need a title or a position to solve a problem. When you solve the problem of your friends, colleagues, family members and associates, you are providing leadership. When you solve people’s problems, you become a rallying point for them anytime they are faced with challenges and issues that are beyond them for the solution. To lead without a position or title, you must ensure that everyone that comes your way leaves with his heavy burden lightened and let everyone have a reason to smile when he is leaving your side. Solving problems could also be in form of counsel. Always leave people better than you met them and avoid making people bitter when they approach you for proffering solutions to their challenges.
Advancing a Particular Cause
A leader is a rallying force for a particular cause. Titles and positions are not required to advance a cause. Meanwhile, advancing a cause is defending something you believe in. Mentioning, writing and repeating a particular issue and enumerating the merits of that case will surely draw the attention of people who believe in that cause towards you. You become a centrifugal force to which they are attracted in its direction. A typical case of advancing a cause is the worldwide resonated “Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG)” case in Nigeria led by its co-founder Oby Ezekwesili. The matter gained the attention of world leaders including the then President of United States of America and his wife, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama as well as the then Prime Minister of United Kingdom, David Cameron. These are highly revered leaders on a world stage but there was someone whose cause attracted their attention and that automatically confers leadership on the individual.
Making Outstanding Impact
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets as Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great sweeper who did his job well’”. Every individual should strive to do his job well resulting in undeniable impacts. You must make a mark. You must endeavor to break records. You must ensure that your results stand out amongst your peers. There is a level of achievement and exploits that even the opposition will have no contrary view but to acknowledge the impact made. When an individual gets to this level, he has become a leader. Amongst other reasons, his works become a reference point for others. He will soon be approached by many on how he was able to achieve those marks.
With the above, it is evident that you can be acknowledged as a leader even when you do not have a title or a position. It is left for us to take the opportunities as highlighted in this piece thereby changing our world.
Written by: Oluwole Dada, (Regional Sales Manager at Nestle Nig. Plc; Member, Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK))