You’ve heard it at conferences. You’ve read it in books. Everyone is a leader. Do you believe this? I don’t.
While everyone has the potential to be a leader, most never take up the mantle. They are content to let others take the risk and do the work.
Several years ago, I read a post by Tony Morgan called “10 Easy Ways to Know You’re Not a Leader.” I took that list, and then inverted and expanded it.
Here are 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.
If this sounds like you, congratulations. You are a leader—or well on your way to becoming one. Leadership is not about experience, education, or talent. It’s about the choosing to lead. That’s where it begins.