Leadership Is Voluntary
Leadership is often misconstrued with position, title, or status. In fact, when you think of a CEO, you often reference them as the leader of the company.What if the direction of that company is in steady decline? What if that company declares bankruptcy? What if the company closes it's doors for good? Are they still considered leaders?
Too often we associate leadership and power. True leadership has nothing to do with the amount of power an individual holds, but the ability to impact the lives of those around them in a positive manner. Simon Sinek referenced it to leaders eating last. The analogy puts into perspective the idea that real leaders make sure that their people are taken care of before themselves.
Leadership is a choice to put those before yourself, hence voluntary. You don't have to put others before yourself. You don't have to take care of those around you. You don't have to sacrifice your well being for others growth. You don't have to eat last.
People who choose the leadership lifestyle are the same people who stay late to help a team member. The same people who go out of their way for the benefit of others. These are the people that believe in the bigger picture. More times than not these are the same people that don't view themselves as leaders.
The lifestyle of leadership is one of the most admirable decisions any one person can make. Some people are inherently built for leadership and then there are the ones who have developed themselves into leaders. This journey is a choice and a choice not many are willing to make because it takes away from themselves.
Not getting credit for building an amazing team. Not getting credit for the results. Taking the responsibility for failure. These things are not glamorous. They are are not to be envied. They are a critical part of leadership.
There is only one true definition of leadership, help those around you grow into better more successful versions of themselves.