John Maxwell reminds us that there are 4 stages of leadership:
- Position – you got the job and you now have a title on your business card. This does NOT mean that you’re anybody’s leader
- Permission – your team has to allow you to be the leader – give you permission. If they don’t give it to you, you aren’t in charge whatever your business card says
- Production – your team has gotten something done better because you are the leader. Now the team is starting to rock
- Personhood – People follow you because your amazing reputation precedes you. You’re larger than life (think Steve Jobs). An advanced form of leadership that few reach
The main lesson here is that a title doesn’t mean anything. If you want to be the leader, you have to earn it by showing the people you care about them and the organization and that you’re for real.
Relying on titles is a game of pretend leadership for the weak.