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What Leadership Really Is

The first of a 6-Part Series o Servant Leadership

John C. Maxwell said “Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It’s about one life influencing another.”

If this is true, then doesn’t this change the true essence of leadership?

Don’t most people equate leadership to someone’s position, their title, or their authority? If leadership really is just about influence, then doesn’t that make everyone a leader? Doesn’t everyone influence someone, somehow, in some way, virtually every day?

Also, before you can influence someone else, who do you influence first? You’re right! Yourself! Before you can take any kind of action that influences someone else, you have to realize that you influence yourself first. Whether it is through conscious thought or your unconscious habits, you absolutely influence yourself first.

Now, the real question is how aware are you about the kind of influence you are having on others throughout the day? What kind of ripples are you creating? Are they positive or negative ripples? Or is it more likely that you’re creating a combination of both?

As you become more aware of the ripples you are creating, it is also important to recognize that influence (leadership) can happen anywhere, at any time. The obvious place you influence others is at work. But what kind of influence are you having at home? In the community? While you are driving, in line at McDonald’s, or at the grocery store. Are you always the best version of yourself, or do you let your less than perfect side come out more than you would like?

Here is the point … if you are an influencer of people (including yourself) then don’t you have a responsibility in managing how you influence? Shouldn’t you be paying more attention to the kind of ripples you create every day?

Take some time today/this week to reflect on how and where you are influencing others. What you find may be very eye opening.

This is the first segment Anavo’s 6-part series on Servant Leadership. You can find all of our articles here on the blog page.

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