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Todd Treharne
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Todd Treharne   My Press Releases

The Illusion of Leadership

Published on 1/26/2018
For additional information  Click Here

The Illusion of Leadership

No position or title can make you a leader. Yes, there are positions that provide the illusion of leadership though it doesn’t take long for most people to see past that.

Yes, there are some positions that offer, temporarily anyway, the influence required to help you lead yet even that does not make you a leader.

Leadership is far more about disposition than it is about position. Leadership is about making a decision to seize the opportunity that comes from a position to actually make a difference in the lives of people.

Here’s a sad truth in way too many organizations today, it may well be a sad fact in many governments as well: lots of people in leadership positions squander the opportunity to actually lead by settling for the illusion of leadership.

The illusion of leadership causes people to manage rather than lead. It places blame rather than accepting responsibility. It makes the person in the leadership position cautious, frequently too cautious. It limits the growth of organizations and people if, and this is a BIG IF, if it doesn’t outright kill it.

Worst of all, the illusion of leadership becomes its own kind of Ponzi scheme where every decision is designed to protect and keep alive the illusion that real leadership exists.

The leadership position remains though the potential of the person in it to actually lead dies. Often times the last person to realize the leadership is merely an illusion is the person in the leadership position. The illusion becomes a trick they play upon themselves, over and over again.

Every person coming into a leadership position, regardless of how they got there, has a grace period where the position or title will give them the opportunity to earn the right to lead. Yes, in case you weren’t aware, the right to actually lead must be earned. The length of the grace period varies by situation yet it’s never as long as a leader thinks it is.

New leaders must demonstrate actual leadership quickly or the influence that came with the position begins to wane. Once it is gone it’s really tough to get it back.

Many new leaders get so caught up in the urgency of managing “stuff,” the business, budgets, policies and the like, that the importance of leading their people moves to the back burner. Real leadership is replaced by the illusion.

You must intentionally carve out time in your schedule to show leadership everyday. Real leadership. The kind that lets people know they matter. The kind that leaves no doubt that they are important to the overall success of the organization. The kind that shows you care more about them as people than you care about the brick and mortar building they work in and more about them than policies and procedures.

Above all don’t buy into the illusion of leadership. Don’t believe that any amount of managing can replace true leadership. Never forget, if you’re doing it for the business it’s managing, if you’re doing it for your people it’s leading.

By the way, in the picture below….

it is two faces or is it one vase? The illusion of leadership can confuse even the best leaders, don’t let it confuse you.

Photo

Being a leader requires that you actually lead somebody.

If you manage people you’re likely a boss, not a leader.

If you lead people to act as you act and you can influence them to behave in a certain way you’re probably an effective leader. The challenge with being an effective leader is that despite some success you’re likely still not helping your people reach their full potential.

If you lead people to act as you act and you care as much about your followers as you care about yourself, and if you influence your people in a way that helps them become a leader and you celebrate their success as much as or more than your own then you’re almost certainly an Authentic Servant Leader.

Leadership is not a title.
It is a behavior. LIVE IT

Image may contain: cloud, sky and text

When you help people accomplish more than they ever believed possible, because you believed in them even more than they believed in themselves, then you are a leader of leaders.

No one leads merely by sitting in a leader’s chair. If you’re really going to lead you have to do something.

You see, accepting an important sounding title or position does not make you a leader. It may however make it possible to force the compliance of your people. You may be able to “scare” them into doing what you want but fear is a very poor long-term motivator.

If you settle for the compliance of your people you will always have “personnel issues” to deal with. Your people will simply do the bare minimum required to maintain their job. They will always be restless and not in a constructive way. They will underperform and they will frustrate you. And it will all be because of you; you may have filled the office of the leader but you’ve left a leadership void.

A title or position does not make you a leader, nor does it lead for you. It merely gives you a bit of time to earn the opportunity to truly lead. The extent of your leadership will be determined by you and those who you would lead. If you can show that you care enough about your followers as people then they will allow you to lead them. Yes, I said allow.

If you think you can make people follow you then you had better think again. You may be able to make them comply but leading people requires their permission and commitment. If your people are not committed to you then they will not follow you. There is no way to force someone to commit to you. Their commitment must be earned.

Compliance causes people issues, commitment solves them.

People commit to a leader when they discover that the leader cares about them as people. When a leader proactively, intentionally and consistently shows that they care then their followers will know without a doubt that the leader has their best interests in mind.

When they know the leader has their best interests in mind they will go above and beyond to help the leader.

You’ll never hear a committed follower say “that’s not in my job description.”

Leadership requires more than a title; it requires action on the part of the leader. If you are counting on your position or title to gain the commitment of your people then you are missing the leadership boat.

Take action to show you care. Invest yourself in the success of your people. Freely give your time and expertise to those you would lead. Make a difference for other people.

The Illusion of Leadership

That is how Authentic Servant Leadership works!

Share with me what your thoughts on this are. What are you willing to do, TODAY< to step up and stand in your greatness? 

To Your Abundance and Prosperity!

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~Todd Treharne ~

Elevating Lives to a Higher Altitude! 

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