THROUGHOUT my life, I have been listening to people call themselves a leader. There are many self-proclaimed leaders in our communities today and people who are given leadership titles in many fields. Leadership is an important topic for me as it relates to young people and change. It’s one of those topics that gets my “brain juices” flowing, as I am quite passionate about it. I, like many, do call myself a leader as well. I am a youth leader as I am and was the head/leader/mentor for many youth and social groups.
So yes, I am probably one of the “self-proclaimed” leaders because who exactly gets to dictate who is a leader and who isn’t? There are leadership positions all around our communities as there is a need for a leader in almost every aspect of human life.
Our communities are filled with religious leaders, business leaders, elected officials, educators, and many others. They play an integral role in the development and progress of our society. However, a title alone doesn’t only make you a true leader. Leaders and people in leadership positions are not the same things. Anyone can be given a position to lead, for whatever reason, but that doesn’t make them an actual leader. You need the right set of skills, characteristics, charisma, patience & kindness, determination & will.
Otherwise, it’s just you and a fancy title with no real positive influence over people and their lives. While many leadership positions come with hefty responsibilities, they also come with a lot of power. That very power, when wielded properly, can be of so much value and potential to the lives of people in need.
It’s a shame to see so many people in leadership positions abuse that very power for their self-absorbing interests and not in the interests of the people they ought to serve. It’s also quite distasteful and irresponsible not to make the best of every opportunity granted to you to make the lives of others a bit better. For me, your actions are what prove you to be a leader—not your title. Titles are merely for formalities. I’m a practical being, and your ability to positively influence others to do and be better makes you deserving of your leadership position.
How you allow your team to stay motivated and respectful of you, even in the most stressful and challenging situations is what makes you a leader. “Leaders” ought to respect the office or role they’re given enough to carry out the responsibilities with divinity and integrity. Otherwise, what kind of example or principles are you teaching the people you ought to lead on the right path? You’ll teach them to accomplish a specific goal but at what cost? — To what extent?
Leadership roles and responsibilities are not to be taken lightly; if you’re unable to meet the demands of what it takes to be a positive leader, I’d advise you to not take up such a task, to begin with. At the end of the day respect from me comes from how you treat people. A little bit of kindness and compassion will always go a long way in this life. Your title means nothing if your ability to lead is compromised by your lack of positive influence and integrity. I’ll always keep that at the back of my mind wherever this life takes me.