Leadership isn’t only for those in Management

Tuesday, September 8, 2015 - 17:26

Guest post by Alison Vidotto

One of the many things I’ve learned since running a business and an international charity is that Leadership is not always positional. There are leaders who can claim the title in position only and others who show great leadership qualities while busily working in the trenches.

Positional leaders don’t have the respect and loyalty of those who work for them, they have followers only because of their place in the organisational structure. They are lacking the great leadership qualities that build a strong, cohesive team. Staff turnover is often high while employee engagement is low. Sadly we see it all too often.

On the other hand, I have been pleasantly surprised on many occasions by the outstanding leadership qualities in people who are in positions with very little formal responsibility.  Those who do display strong leadership skills often climb the ladder to success at an advanced rate.

When we take a look at what makes a great leader; honesty, trust, motivation, commitment, and open communication, those skills can apply to even the most junior of staff members.

Leaders inspire others, they innovate and they initiate action. They value professional development both in themselves and others. Importantly, they develop and grow leadership in those coming behind them.  For a company to go from strength to strength it needs leaders who support their staff end encourage them to take ownership of their leader within.

Let them know that they do not need to be in a position of authority to be a leader. Equip them with the confidence to step up and the skills to succeed. Invest in programmes designed to increase their knowledge and experience, no matter their position in the organisation. 

A standout leadership behaviour that makes a greater impact than position is the ability to see the bigger picture as well as a commitment to working towards getting there. Uniting staff across an organisation and aligning them to the purpose and vision will increase employee engagement and accountability. The benefits of 360 degree leadership in an organisation are enormous both to workplace culture and productivity.

Remember; no matter what your position is, you can develop your leadership skills. Keep your eye on the bigger picture. Be committed to professional development in yourself and others. Step up when you see a task that needs to be done or if a team member needs a hand.

If you are in a position of authority, be sure to develop the leadership skills in your team, no matter how junior their position is. Your business will reap the rewards.

Imagine a workplace where every member of the team was growing as a leader. Success would be almost inevitable.

Alison Vidotto is an award winning author, professional speaker, CEO of Vidotto Group, leadership trainer and Founder and Managing Director of the Australian Charity for the Children of Vietnam.