Leadership is Not a Level

By: CECILIA GORMAN, Creative + Talent + Partners


Here’s what most of us believe about Leadership.

We believe you take the org chart, grab a red Sharpie and begin to circle all the boxes up at the top. We’d circle the C-Suite for sure: CEO, CFO, CMO, CTO. And most likely, we’d circle the other letters: EVP, SVP, VP.

We believe the LETTERS are the LEADERS.

We believe the folks at the top of the chart are the ones who are meant to lead the rest of us.  And friends, that belief couldn’t be further from the truth. That belief is lazy because it removes the responsibility to lead from everyone else down below. And frankly, that belief bugs me.

Leadership is not a letter. It’s not a title or a level.

Leadership is what’s inside every one of us. Leadership is an internal spirit with the intention to lift other people up. Leadership is a purposeful act to guide and influence. Leadership is a genuine feeling of caring about the progress and well-being of those around you.

Every one of us can be a leader. Every one of us is, in fact, already a leader. The only difference is whether we recognize our capacity to lead and begin to put those skills to use (no matter what box we’re in!).