The true measure of leadership is influence – nothing more nothing less.
Position has little to do with genuine leadership. Influencing others is a matter of disposition, pot position. Leadership is a choice you make, not a place you sit. Anyone can choose to become a leader wherever he or she is. You can make a difference no matter where you are.
Influence must be earned.
A position gives you a chance. It gives you the opportunity to try out your leadership. It asks people to give you the benefit of the doubt for a while. Be given some time, you will earn your level of influence – for better or worse. Good leaders will gain in influence behind their stated position.
Nothing will make a better impression on your leader than your ability to manage yourself. If your leader must continually expend energy managing your, then you will be perceived as someone who drains time and energy. If you manage yourself well, however, your boss will see you as someone who maximizes opportunities and leverages personal strengths.
All good leadership is based on relationships. People won’t go along with you if they can’t get along with you.
We often consider ourselves to be many things to the people who work alongside us – co-workers, teammates, contributors, competitors – but we often forget to be the one thing that every person wants: a friend. Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “The glory of friendship is not in the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nore the joy of companionship; it is in the spirtual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him.”
Leaders in the middle of the organization who help to surface good ideas are creating what an organization needs most. They do that by producing synergy among their peers. And they will develop influence with their peers because when they are present, they make the whole team better.