Many people, maybe a majority of people, have the false believe that where you work and your position determines if you have the potential to be a leader. For instance, how many people would say that they see a cashier at the local .99 cents store or the garbage man/woman as a leader?!! Let me see a raise of hands! Okay, so I have two in the back that have their hands half way in the air as they shyly look around to see if anyone else is raising there hand. Folks, I am here to tell you that those two people are CORRECT! The cashier and the garbage man/woman can be leaders.
Here’s what you are to know about leadership. At its most basic definition leaders are people who have the ability to influence others. What a leader says matters to others and incites a desire for change in their follower. A good leader incites positive change (of course “good” and “positive” are relative). Okay, so let me give you an example. The cashier, Naomi, at the .99 cents store is actually going to school. She is going for her Associates in IT at a local college. She didn’t tell any of her coworkers. One day as she is walking out the door one of her school books drops out of her hand. Her boss who is manning the door picks it up and pops a glance at the title. “IT huh?!” “You know I’ve always been interested in IT work. Just never got a chance to go learn it.” After this incident almost everyday she would discuss what she has learned in school, new advances in the IT world, and would also encourage her boss Franklin to go back to school. She mentored him. This man, her boss, was influenced to go back to school. He started online classes. Naomi graduated, got an entry level position at an IT firm and stayed in contact with Franklin. It was her encouragement that got him through his studies.
Leaders are people who have the ability to influence others. What a leaders says matters to others and incites a desire for change in their follower.
Kendrick, a garbage man for over ten years was an avid cook. His round belly was evidence that he also loved to eat! He frequently brought food to his coworkers. They would make fun of him jokingly but they secretly envied his skills. One day Kendrick decided to start a cooking club. He told his coworkers about the idea and they promptly agreed with him. He agreed to five people at a time (his kitchen wasn’t big) for a five week stretch each. Each week had a different cultural theme. He even went as far as awarding certificates at the end of the five weeks to the participants who stuck with it. It was a great success and his coworkers also started bringing food to the job for others to try. Kendrick started a ‘cooking culture’ at his job. They would eventually have “cook offs” and everyone always came to Kendrick for advice on the best ingredients to put in various dishes.
What you do does not limit your ability to positively influence others. It does not hinder your ability to lead.
What is the point of these examples?! What you do does not limit your ability to positively influence others. It does not hinder your ability to lead. In fact, as in the case with Naomi, you can positively influence people in senior positions . Who would have thought?! So no matter what you do there are always opportunities to get others interested and motivated to make a change.