You see, it doesn’t really matter what title you do or do not hold, what level of education you have or have not attained, or even how long (or not long) you’ve been with your organization. Groups, departments, organizations, teams -– they need leaders. They need you.
Now, I’m not saying you have to come up with some novel idea or head a project team or even be charismatic and outgoing. What I am saying is that organizations all over the place need leaders. Not empty-heads filling empty-suits with fancy titles. Leaders. What I’m saying is that we need you.
We need ordinary folks who will step up and do the hard things. Do hard things like admitting mistakes, being vulnerable, forgiving past mistakes, and building trust. Do hard things like complaining a little (in many cases a lot) less and finding solutions a little more.
Do hard things like really taking ownership of the direction of your team and organization. Too many of us think we can’t do that. We think it’s someone else’s job. We think it’s only the executives that are in charge of that. Your organization is just as much yours as it is theirs. (And really, the sooner you can stop thinking of it in terms of “yours” or “theirs” the better. Think ours.) Want something to be different? Then do something. Make a ruckus.
Do hard things like actually committing to change something in yourself instead of thinking that only everyone else needs to change. Do hard things like being the first in your group or department to change your behavior and encourage others to do the same. Do hard things like looking for the best in people, even though you’ve been burned before.
As I’ve said to many groups I’ve presented to, it’s about ordinary people doing some simple (but not necessarily easy) things over and over again. Before you know it, you’re leading yourself and others toward a healthier group or organizational culture.
But if you and I want any of that to happen, we need leaders. We need you.