One of the best parts about going back to school is having the opportunity to help young(er) students develop into great coaches and practitioners.
Whether it’s an informal chat after class or a training session in our garage gym, my wife and I are taking great enjoyment in giving back to a place that has given so much to us.
After all, if it weren’t for Springfield College, we would’ve never met. (You’ll have to ask her about how that went!)
But one of the biggest lessons we try and focus on is this:
You don’t need a title to be a leader.
I want you to think about when you first started “working.” Maybe you were an intern, a volunteer or just an “entry-level” associate.
- Did you have a great idea and not share it?
- Have an opinion about something and kept your mouth shut?
- Felt like you hadn’t earned your “time” yet to express how you honestly felt about something?
Probably. So did I.
But I finally learned that…
Titles are NOT job descriptions!
They don’t explicitly define what a person does.
Rather, the influence and inspiration we aim to provide to others come from PEOPLE, not the actual positions.
Real people and real leaders bring the same commitment to excellence to whatever they do, whether they are on stage or behind it.
Mark Sanborn once wrote that:
If you had no title or ability to reward or penalize others, could you still get people to follow you?
I think so.
But to do so, it starts with these key points:
- You’ve got to believe that you can positively shape peoples’ lives and careers. You can’t stand behind something you don’t believe in.
- You’ve got to lead through your relationships with people instead of your control over people.
- You’ve got to collaborate, not control. (Remember what it was like to not have been asked: “What do YOU think?”)
- You’ve got to find ways to help persuade others to contribute, rather than ordering them to.
- You’ve got to get others to follow out of respect and commitment rather than fear and compliance.
Wherever you are, whenever you started, whatever you do: You won’t make a difference, you can BE the difference.
Be the difference today.