I remember very early in my career talking to my manager about a co-worker I felt needed some coaching. My manager said to me, “why don’t you talk to them?” My first reaction to this question was “isn’t that your job?” (No, I didn’t say that out loud), which was quickly followed by “can I? How do I approach a conversation like that?”
I seemed to think that to be a leader, to provide coaching or advice to someone, I needed to be their manager/supervisor/in a higher position. It was my manager who reminded me that to be a leader is to set an example and also to be honest and open with my co-workers if I felt it would better them in their career.
I truly believe this was one of those ‘a-ha’ moments where I realised that I was in control of my leadership and it didn’t have to do with my title – I have no doubt that feeling this empowerment to be a leader all those years ago has brought me to where I am today.
This came to mind recently when I came across a quote: leadership is not a position or a title; it is an action and example.
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