“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
–John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams was not unfamiliar with the role of leader. His father was President John Adams; his mother, Abigail Adams. He himself served as President of the United States from 1825 to 1829.
After losing his re-election bid to Andrew Adams in 1828, he was elected as a US Representative from Massachusetts and served in that capacity for last 17 years of his life. He also served as an American diplomat and as a Senator.
The poignancy of what Adams says is revealing about the man himself. Though he served his country for so long in so many different leadership capacities, he realized that leadership is not granted to a person because of an election or a position held.
Leadership is more a product of the actions one takes in their capacity as a leader. If you inspire others to do something, to improve themselves, or to become better at something, you are a leader.
Given that, do you have to hold an official leadership position to le a leader? Emphatically, the answer is no. Given the way business is carried out in the Information Age, the many ways we can communicate with the world, and the speed with which communications travel, anyone at any time can step into the role of leader.
Seth Godin wrote a book a few years ago titled Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us. It is essentially a treatise calling anyone and everyone to become a leader, whether religious, political, academic, social, musical, or whatever, anyone can lead.
You can lead.
In what ways are you a leader?