Skip to main content

Leader By Title? Level 1 Leadership

By March 3, 2011February 14th, 2019Articles, leadership, Leadership, Leadership Legacy

I have a big problem with people who call themselves a leader simply because they have a “leadership title”. It absolutely gets me every time. I am absolutely passionate about leadership and not just the concept, the fulfilment of leadership, the act of leadership, of being a true leader at work, at home and in society. I believe leadership is always. And I do not believe that anyone has the right to call himself or herself a leader. Not at all. NO!

For example, I know a very high profile businessperson. She runs an incredibly successful business and is a savvy businessperson. She knows how to build a successful empire. However, she is also a bully, manipulative, power hungry and manages through fear. That to me does not represent a leader. I don’t think that represents leadership in anyone’s book. However, she calls herself a leader. In my opinion, she is a leader through title, the lowest level of leadership there is. And I will only concede to this because it is on fact level one leadership according to John Maxwell. This person has no awareness of the impact she has on people, she just wants results and will ensure those who work for her fear her so she gets it. Not a confident and empowering leader. Actually, cowardly!

John Maxwell has defined the 5 levels of leadership. Leadership through title being Level one. This is the basic level of leadership. At this level people follow you because they have to. Your ability to lead people is totally geared to your position and does not exceed beyond the lines of your job description or the authority granted to you by the company and your boss. Your security with the company is based on title and position, not talent.

It is important that we recognize that Positional Level is the doorway to leadership and every successful leader must pass through this doorway. So while sales people will be promoted to a leadership role without the skills, and people will continue to be promoted due to longevity in a position, they do have the opportunity to grow as a leader. This will depend on their awareness and if they have a good mentor. Danger is when Business Owners are these leaders; they are not accountable to anyone but themselves. So how do we change this?