Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward released a great book titled, "Launching a Leadership Revolution." In addition to fantastic stories and quotes to illustrate their points, Brady and Woodward present a simple, but profound observation about leadership - it has five levels:
- Developing leaders
- Developing developers of leaders
Where are you in the process?
Are you learning what it means to be a leader? Are you studying the examples of positive and negative leadership in your organization? Are you reading books about leadership? Are you examining great historical figures to identify what it means to be a leader?
Are you focused on performing your specific role in an excellent way? Great! In my experience, you will never be a leader unless you have credibility with your colleagues. You have to "walk the walk" before they will listen to you "talk the talk." Are you pulling your load and then some? Are you challenging yourself to take on projects that others ignore?
Are you leading? Have you turned around and discovered others are following you? Do you know where you are leading them? Are you still learning and performing? You have to in order for them to follow for more than a few steps.
Are you developing leaders? Are you encouraging your followers to begin the process of learning and performing so they will be ready to lead? Do you desire to "replace yourself" with the next generation of leaders?
Are you developing developers of leaders? Are you empowering leaders to develop other leaders? Are you thinking about the second and third generation of leaders who will follow you?
You may find yourself at any one of these levels of leadership. If so, embrace it, enjoy it, enhance it, and be prepared to move when appropriate.