One of the lessons I learned when I started working in corporate America was the moment you have to tell someone your title, it becomes irrelevant. The minute you preference a statement or a question with your title in an attempt to intimidate someone you believe is “lower” than you, you lose all credibility. During my 20+ years of professional experience, I’ve encountered many executives that felt the need to “remind” someone of their title. I still remain unimpressed by titles. I’m more concerned if you are ethical and fair in your dealings with your staff, counterparts and customers. I watch how you interact with the cleaning staff in the evening and if you say thank you to the IT guys who have, for the fifth time this week, saved you from easing all of your data.
True leaders don’t go around telling others that they are leaders. True leaders are the people who inspire you to do better, be better and achieve more. True leaders lead by providing a positive example for others to follow. I read a post from Michael Hyatt awhile ago and he gave these twelve ways to know if you are a leader:
- You long to make a difference.
- You’re discontent and dissatisfied with the status quo.
- You’re not waiting on a bigger staff or more resources to accomplish your vision.
- Your dreams are so big they seem impossible.
- You acknowledge what is but inevitably ask, “What could be?”
- You realize that you don’t have to be in charge to have significant influence.
- You refuse to blame others for your circumstances and take responsibility for finding solutions.
- You foster unity by bringing people together and encouraging dialogue.
- You are quick to say, “I messed up. Here’s what I am going to do to fix the problem I created.”
- You value relationships more than tasks.
- You walk your talk—not perfectly but sincerely and intentionally.
- You are a learner. You read, listen to podcasts, attend conferences, and ask other leaders lots of questions.
Are you a leader?