Great leaders do not wait to be in charge before they start leading. By cultivating and leveraging influence, great leaders learn to lead before ever landing in any position of authority.
In order to begin to lead when you’re not in charge, you must debunk the myth that authority is a prerequisite for influence. If having authority doesn’t necessarily mean you have any influence, it must be possible to have influence before ever having authority. If this is true, it really changes everything about leadership.
1 | AUTHORITY AND LEADERSHIP AREN’T SYNONYMOUS.
Just because you don’t control the direction doesn't mean you can’t drive it
Stop waiting for permission to lead - The truth is if you’re not leading because you don’t feel like you’re in charge, it’s no one’s fault but your own. Stop waiting for permission and start solving problems
“Leaders don’t sit back and point fingers. Leaders take the authority we’ve been given and use it wisely to build influence and make things better.
You can’t be an effective leader and have a victim mindset. Victim mindset: "Nothing is ever going to change," "I don’t have enough resources to make anything better," "I don’t know what I'm really supposed to be doing."
2 | INFLUENCE HAS ALWAYS BEEN, AND WILL ALWAYS BE, THE CURRENCY OF LEADERSHIP
- Grow what you Got / Create a pocket of greatness. “focus on your own area of responsibility and make it great." Grow what you’ve been given. Are you making your “pocket” better? Or are you making excuses of why you can’t? Are you “growing” what you’ve been given? Or are you making coming up with reasons why you can’t?
- We mustn't confuse a position of authority with a call to lead. Let me say it this way, “If you’re waiting on a position then you’ve got the wrong perspective."
- Matt 20:26-28. What is the “not so” of leadership that Jesus refers to here? It’s the type of leader who seeks authority for personal gain. Instead, Jesus argues that the best leaders, the ones who align with his vision for leadership, will lead as servants who are aware of their responsibility and who answer to a higher calling.
3 | LEADERSHIP IS INFLUENCE
Influence is gained through loving, serving, and honoring those around us. Influence always outpaces authority. We don’t need authority or a title to lead where we are. Great leaders, no matter their position or level of authority, lead by influence not be leveraging authority.
Chandler Boyce, Executive Director of Free Church Media