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Myths of Leadership #2: Think Leadership is Just about Titles? Think Again February 1, 2012

Posted by Chris Garbutt in Leadership.
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Has it ever happened to you? You’re in a meeting or working with a group and you have an idea but think to yourself, “but I’m not the leader; I’m not the one who’s in charge here” so you keep quiet? So often we default to titles and roles to guide us in these situations, when really these could be opportunities to step up and show leadership without necessarily being the leader in a group.

Leadership as a practice is something that everyone can do, no matter what your position, title or rank within and organization or group is. It just takes a shift in mindset to see this. Personally, I like this think of these as “leadership moments” or “leadership with a lower-case L”; a time when you voice your opinion, make a suggestion for better group process, or put yourself out there to do something daring, even without a title beside your name.

Kamilah, a student at U of T had this to say, “true leadership is not based on position or rank. It is based on action, performance, ability, and effectiveness. People naturally gravitate to those they want to follow, respect, and work with. There are no limiting job descriptions, job titles, and few rules and regulations. If a person comes up with a new idea, he or she puts a team of people together who have the desire and knowledge to make it work.”

Still not convinced? Check out this video that highlights some great title-less leaders.

– Kate Bowers, Student Life Coordinator (Leadership Programs)