Leadership is a choice, not a place you sit

I’ve been talking about this for more than a decade and yet I get to meet well-intentioned people who’ve bought into the idea of gaining influence, authority, and riches by way of a leadership position. It’s delusional, toxic, and will ruin any chance of you becoming a leader.

Sure, you can be promoted to a higher position with better salary, bigger team, and even bigger responsibilities. But that’s not what leadership is about. It’s not about your position or the number of people who report to you.

It’s about the choice you make to serve a vision/cause that’s bigger than you. It’s about that street sweeper who puts in the extra time to clean areas far outside of his line of duty. It’s about that colleague who goes the extra mile to coach, mentor, or train the “laggards” in his team. It’s about that person who puts in hours to sew a bunch of masks everyday so she can give it away so everyone can be safe.

I don’t have to spell this out to you, right? These people didn’t have a title. They did’t wait for blessings from someone higher-up. They just did what they felt was the right thing to do. Not for their own good but for a cause that was much bigger than them.

That’s what leadership is all about. It’s a practice. Not a place you sit.