Redefining Who a Leader Is

“Leader” is a label that we have traditionally assigned to individuals in positions with some kind of influence. You’re a CEO, you’re a president, you’re a VP or director, you’re a manager… Those people are leaders.

Yes, individuals with titles like those find themselves in leadership positions. But what about the people on our teams that don’t have “leadership” titles. Don’t they still have the ability to lead, even though their titles don’t scream “leader” in bold letters on their business card?

The answer, without a doubt, is “Yes!”

Put another way, everyone on your team is a leader. No matter the title on their business card or their LinkedIn profile, each individual has the ability and responsibility to lead. We are ALL leaders.

Using OrangeBall as an example, as a creative agency everyone on our team has regular interactions with our customers. We’re exploring new creative with them. We’re helping guide them in crafting their messages and defining how they show up in their marketing. We’re strategizing with them and unlocking the paths that will best leverage their marketing spend and energy.

Every member of our team is involved in this process. Each individual is doing their part to help lead our clients. Connect the dots. If we’re all helping lead our clients in some capacity, then that means every member of our team is a leader, whether their title says it or not.

Shifting gears a bit, as leaders with titles, we need to be reminded that we can still be led as well. We’re not always the ones doing the leading. It takes some humility to accept that and to listen when someone from any level of the organization comes to you with a new or better way to do something. By keeping the door open to this, we’re helping create leaders within all levels of our organizations.

Our team players can also lead by example. We all have individuals we work with who epitomize positivity, hard work, and good energy. They make you feel better, stronger, and more capable when you’re around them – like anything is possible. That kind of leadership, where our personalities and work ethic inspire others, is another example of how anyone can lead regardless of their position or rank.

As businesses and organizations, we need to take this concept seriously. We should be reminding our team members every day that they are leaders. We should be affirming the power they have and the influence they wield. And, we should be doing everything we can to help them level up and become the best leaders they can be – even when that means we’re the ones they’re leading.

Take a step back to redefine leadership within your business or organization. Yes, titles on business cards and LinkedIn profiles matter, and some roles require more defined leadership, but we need to remember that everyone on our teams has the potential to lead. It’s on us to create environments where they can step into that.

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