A leader is an individual who is perceived by the group or tribe to have a position of influence.
Leadership is the process of influencing the group to achieve their objectives.
This distinction is made by John C. Maxwell, an influential author on leadership and management.
This then begs the question…
Can an individual display leadership without being perceived as a leader?
Or vice versa?
It also raises questions around leader and leadership development (yes, they are different things).
Organisations need to develop leadership in their employees, not necessarily leaders. Of course, we still need leaders (and managers). These are positions/ roles that we need to drive processes and projects.
But is there enough focus on self-leadership?
Of developing the skills in our people that empower and enable them to lead? To be trail-blazers and shot-takers?
We must develop self-reliant employees, who can lead themselves and can adapt to complex, uncertain environments. The ability to move with change, to take it in our stride with resilience and courage, is essential to the sustainability of the organisation and people within them.
Let’s build a culture of leaders. Where everyone regardless of position or rank display leadership.