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.
I often hear young leaders talking about the kind of leader they will be one day when they are in a higher position. The way they would run a team, project, branch, department… have you ever stopped to think you have the power to influence those things now? You don’t have to be a VP, manager or supervisor to influence your co-workers and the culture at your Credit Union. To be honest, you are likely one of the biggest influences because your co-workers look to YOU to set an example and lead by action.
I recently wrote my goals for 2019, if you haven’t seen my post on goal setting, check it out. Something I wrote was to be an inspiration for good, and I want to challenge you to that.
Be the kind of leader people want to work with, talk to and be like. Maybe you’re not in the position you want to be in, or there is a title you one day want to hold, I promise you that the people who move up in our industry are those leaders who did it not for the title, but who lead by example and action.