There are hundreds of quotes that illustrate the meaning of leadership, some more poignantly than others. Let’s see, there’s this famous one by John C. Maxwell: “Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.” Then there’s the popular John Quincy Adams quote, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” And don’t forget Andrew Carnegie’s “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.”
No matter how you describe it, there’s no ‘I’ in ‘leader.’ The words of well-known leaders, both past and present, have been immortalized so that we may all collectively uphold the principle that leadership is more about our influence over others than it is about ourselves. Many aspiring leaders stumble over this concept believing that, in order to achieve leadership, there’s a predetermined set of actions
they need to take. They might try their hardest to stand out in a new role, striving to be recognized for merit and performance. They may be labeled a leader by those who recognize the potential within them, they may be promoted, and they may earn the respect of their peers. But these things alone do not cultivate true leadership. There’s certainly nothing wrong with striving or even overachieving, but leadership isn’t a title or some fancy letters you get to add to your name after obtaining a certification. Leadership is often a silent credential, and there are many dos and don’ts to learn along the way.
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