Lots of people occupy leadership positions without really leading. Many people identify themselves as leaders even though they actually lead no one.
To those people leadership is apparently just a word.
To a truly Authentic Servant Leader however “Leadership” is much more than just a word; it is an awesome responsibility.
Leadership, true leadership, comes with the responsibility to help your people grow and succeed. Every time you move up within an organization the weight of your responsibility increases. If you’re not prepared for that or you are unwilling to accept additional responsibility then don’t accept the move either.
It’s not unusual as you move up the ladder that your responsibility will grow faster than your authority. That’s a challenge for lesser leaders but Authentic Servant Leaders use their influence in place of authority to get things done. Authority is important if your trying to rely on compliance to motivate your people, when you have the commitment of your people influence is more than sufficient.
The responsibility of leading means making certain sacrifices. Leaders have obligations to many constituencies and that limits their freedom. It is however a limitation they freely choose in order to have an impact on the lives of those they lead.
Here’s the thing, saying you’re a leader is easy. Leading, really leading, is anything but easy. Leading isn’t for everyone and that’s perfectly fine but if you occupy a leadership position or have the audacity to label yourself a leader then you must accept the responsibility that goes with it.
If you don’t then you’re denying your people the leadership they need and deserve.