The Premise Of Leadership

It’s guest post Monday! This post is written by Jeremy C.  Jones who is a Military veteran who served during Operation Enduring Freedom. He writes a High-Tech/High-Touch Marketing blog AskJeremyJones.com and is the founder of 180xCoaching.com. You can connect with him on Twitter and Facebook. If you would like to have a post featured on my site then click here.

If you are like me, I used to think someone needed to be appointed to a leadership position, where they’re paid to be a leader or a leadership role given the position overseeing other people. It’s much more than that, and you can start right where you’re at.  In fact, leadership is one way to add lots of value to people, here’s 3 points that tie into the premise of leadership.

I’m going to give you a 3 key ideas how you can add value to other people in any area of life by design. It’s ok to learn by trial and error and improve your leadership ability along the way and it’ll pay you more ways than one.

1. You Are Here.

The first lesson in leadership is your journey starts where you are not where you want to be. What this means you don’t need to be placed into a leadership position to be leading.

2. The Leadership Skills Stay The Same, But The Game May Change.

What I mean by this is the leadership principles can be simple, but you can apply them to leading a volunteer group, leading a project among several partners, or leading people within your business organization. When you step up to organize people to a common purpose you add value to every member you lead.

3. Lead A Town Before You Lead A City

Many people want to hit the big leagues before they do anything small.  They think a small coordinated effort is not worthy of being called “leadership”, or believing you have to be leading thousands right from the beginning. If you start small you can use your small victories to propel you for bigger things.   If you come across a big opportunity you will be far more ahead and have more experience by starting with small victories you experienced leadership in the past and this will help build your credibility with other people.  The best way to learn is by doing.

The self test that you can give yourself is that if you can lead a group of volunteers and you can lead almost anyone. Now how can I say that? Because why would it be so difficult because with volunteers you have no leverage it takes all the leadership skills you can muster up to get them to do anything the you ask because if they don’t like it, they can just leave. If you push too hard, they will just drop out. If your people skills are weak, they won’t want to spend any extra time with you.

This is a great way to train other people in the lessons of leadership as well. Anyone that wants to start off in leadership this is a great learning lesson by volunteer in your community and gather up the team see how much you can accomplish, also this will reveal some areas in Leadership in which you can improve.

As Donald McKinnon, former CEO of Westinghouse Broadcast Corporation has said, “leadership is action, not position”, Taking action and helping others to do the same in a coordinated effort is the premise of leadership.

“Taking action and helping others to do the same in a coordinated effort is the premise of leadership.”
click to tweet

Consider that after a project is complete that you have provided leadership  to some capacity would have never finished if it had not been for your leadership.  Imagine everyone in your team saying the project was “rewarding” to complete, but we could not have done it without you.  That’s adding value to other people.

Next time you have the chance to be a part of the team or be leading the team challenge yourself to step up.  Not for your own self-image or ego, but for the value it adds to the team to have you facilitating the results.

We covered 3 very clear ways you can start leading right where you are, without being given a position, you can appoint yourself into leadership. What would happen if the next time you volunteered in your community you offered to lead a project? Do this often enough and you can’t help but grow in your leadership…and make some friends along the way.

Question: What are some other ways a person can start leading right now?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Volunteerism is a great way to help others and gain leadership skills. Great thoughts.

    • thanks.

    • It sure is Dan.

    • DS

      It’s amazing when all you have is you to help influence – no position, no obligation, no bonuses. Plus you can be creative in leveraging the talent around you since you may not have the same constraints you might find in a workplace.

  • I think often a true leader is defined by how they are willing to go their own way even if means going alone at first. The true leader will attract others to them by their vision, dedication, and discipline. But as you said, it starts where you are. Great post.

    • totally agree, and we lead ourselves first before we lead others. Thanks for the positive comments.

      • DS

        That point is a great addition – as we lead ourselves, it will be noticed.

  • Thanks Dan for the chance to be featured here and share a few thoughts on Leadership.

    • Your welcome Jeremy. Thank you for taking the time to write one for me:)

  • I really like this part- “The first lesson in leadership is your journey starts where you are not where you want to be.”

    Sometimes we can miss the forest for the trees. Right now is what matters. What you do with today shapes who you are tomorrow.

    Your post also reminds me of Jeremiah 12:5 “”If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can
    you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you
    manage in the thickets by the Jordan?”

    • your points are great. It’s not so much as to what you do, but who you become in the process. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • DS

    Acknowledge that you are a person of value and have something valuable to contribute. While it may not fit in every situation, you have something you bring to your organization, family, community, etc. everyday. Leverage what you already have.

  • Going above and beyond your job title. You’re showing initiative and taking control.

    • You can become succesful if your character and integerty are weak but it won’t substain you suceess

    • Settle with yourself that you won’t compermise on your belifs and values.

    • great points. I think you’re right in that leaders are proactive and go above and beyond their responsibilities.

  • Develop a vision that involves everyone connected to it and take action.

    • that “involves” everyone. great way to put it.

  • As you have outlined, leadership has very little to do with position. We can lead up, down, or across our spheres of influence. Enjoyed your post and checking out your blog!

    • Great point Tom. I think that’s the key to true leadership, being able to lead those on every level. Thank you for reading and sharing.

    • thanks Tom. John Maxwell wrote a great book called 360 degree leadership where he covers that very well. I appreciate the positive comments.

  • In my IT years I participated in many projects in which I was far away from having a leadership position however, as the projects rolled out, people noticed I normally provided great solutions even if I was solving problems that were beyond the reach of my position.

    I offered my help, because I saw an opportunity that I could definitely help with, not for anything else and as the team we were, we dealt with problems faster and more efficient like this.

    It wasn’t long that this company decided to invest some money in me, other team members were happy to had me there just as I was happy to be with them (sometimes I couldn’t fix something and would receive help from somebody else).

    This is just one example that the tweetable here: “Taking action and helping others to do the same in a coordinated effort is the premise of leadership.” is as real as it gets.

    Great article Jeremy!

    • Great example of influencing and adding value! Your a true leader! Thanks for reading and sharing.

    • Great story Sergio. It takes a proactive approach to everyday situations to be a leader. Great effort. Thanks for the comments.

  • Jeremy i love how you’ve broken down this. The three insights are huge, but we seem to forget that n our quest for bigger and greater or ‘real’.

    I’d reiterate serve wherever you are – start at home, esp for those with families. No use trying to export which is not working at home.

    • I agree, he wrote a great post! Serving is a essential factor to implement in all areas of our life. Thank you for reading and adding to the conversation.

    • Really great point, leadership starts with service. Thanks for the positive comments and reply.

  • I like the realistic focus of starting where you are and not where you want to be. I’ve had to admit some painful faults in my leadership over the last few months and years – but this vulnerability to reality has helped me to change.

    • I agree, sometimes we just need to start before we have everything planned or figured out. Keep being vulnerable bro, it will sustain you and your leadership. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • Change starts with awareness…looks like you are on the right track.

  • Leadership can become the evolution of ones life. What I mean by this is we should all strive to be true leaders. As a father, be a leader to your child. As a business owner, be a leader to your team. As a member of this planet, be a leader for a greater cause. We should all strive to become a better leader. Thanks for sharing :-).

    • I totally agree, in fact I think we become better leaders to our followers/employees when we are leading the other areas of our life well. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

      • My pleasure Dan. Keep leading by example.

    • Takes for the great comment Nate. I agree, we do lead and influence those around us.