I overheard a comment from a young man the other day, “I got the promotion I deserve and I’m finally going to be a leader.” What a sad comment. I’m afraid this person isn’t going to be a very good leader. You see, there are several problems.
First, the person was a leader, (I imagine not a very good one). If he was being considered for a position, he already was exhibiting some leadership qualities. This person was waiting for a position of leadership before he believed he was a leader. Real leadership is not by position, or rather, the lowest form of leadership is by position. Leadership by position is only a title and is not earned – but bestowed. So followers only follow because another has authority over them. When positional leadership is misused or abused, the followers, given the opportunity, will opt for another leader to follow.
The other problem with what he said is the “I deserve” part. When a person doesn’t consider themselves a leader except by promotion – it is a formula for disaster. This person was proud of the power he now wielded rather than the opportunity he’d been given to display competent leadership. He was now being promoted to the position that had previously been supervising him. Now he has the opportunity to supervise others. I cringe at the thought. This person is probably following a long line of Peter Principle graduates. He’s never experienced or learned lessons about great leadership or experienced the responsibility he now holds.
A promotion should not bestow leadership. Great leadership happens regardless of position and comes with greater responsibilities.
Points to Ponder –
Have you ever been given a leadership position you didn’t deserve? Have you ever observed a leadership position being given to someone who you didn’t feel was deserving? How do these situations arise?
What are the basic requirements of leadership?
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