Yesterday I wrote about how everyone has leadership capabilities and each and everyday there are situations where we can perform leadership tasks. I firmly believe that is the case and I do hope that I raised your awareness of the impact that you can have on others, but when are you considered to be “A Leader”
In my humble opinion, there is one crucial factor that must be present: Followers. “For what is a leader without followers? Just a guy out for a walk.” (Credit to West Wing – if you haven’t seen the series do yourself a favour). I’m not insinuating that a leader must have a team or an organisation or a formal title, in fact sometimes management and leadership can be mutually exclusive. A leader must have people who buy into their vision, dream, strategy, goals, values, attitude etc and be prepared to stand up and say yep that’s someone who I not only identify with but give my loyalty to.
You can’t make someone follow you, people will do it willingly or not at all. With followers comes responsibility, in the most extreme cases, people follow great leaders into battle, they elevate their own performance to deliver a desired result and they go above and beyond without being asked and will generally stick with great leaders through thick and thin. All I say is you should never take that responsibility lightly!