Whether or not you have a leadership title under your name on a business card or on a LinkedIn profile, you are a leader as you have the opportunity to influence people and situations and make a significant difference to their success and that of the organization.
When you demonstrate leadership, are you a child, teenage or adult leader?
If you are a child leader, you are a new leader who is completely focused on yourself and your own development, slowly adjusting to new responsibilities, tentatively taking baby steps and frequently making mistakes. You are surrounded by a loyal team and a well respected and highly regarded leader as a role model who generously gives you their time and energy and truly wants you to be successful. You feel safe, strong and supported to grow and learn. However, once you know what you are doing, you are eager to move on to being a teenage leader.
If you are a teenage leader, you are more confident, competent and communicative. You are eager to take risks, challenge authority and break the rules. You are open to new ideas and new ways of doing things. Being somewhat self-absorbed, you are more concerned with the impact of people and situations on you. It is all about you and not about others. As a teenage leader, you have no problem being innovative and expressing loudly and clearly what is on your mind whether or not anyone is listening. You like to think and act quickly and have little or no patience for others who are slow and deliberate in their thoughts and actions. You have your own agenda and are not interested in any other agenda. You get frustrated when you do not get your way and when others refuse to do what you want them to do. However, working with the right coach and/or mentor as your guide and teacher, you can then move on to being an adult leader.
If you are an adult leader, you possess a wisdom and maturity beyond your chronological age and a depth of knowledge and breadth of experience that is admired, respected and sought after by your peers and direct reports. You are the calm, cool and collected presence when people and situations are uncertain and uncomfortable. You confidently and courageously move and face forward while others are stuck, retreating or looking backward. You eagerly develop credibility, accept responsibility, embrace challenges, provide opportunities, allow others visibility and create accessibility. You care about your people and your organization. You are hardworking, dedicated and committed to excellence. Your greatest joy is growing and nurturing people to be the best that they can be, to go beyond their comfort zones and to get to the next level and beyond. You generously share your time, energy, knowledge and experience with anyone who is open to learning and growing. You are honest, humble, helpful and honourable. You are at the pinnacle of leadership.
Whether you are a child, teenage or adult leader, make it one of your goals for 2015 to continue to grow, develop and succeed as a leader.