Can you be a leader and not have any position or title? Is leadership without position a myth or reality? People who are used to leading others often ask this question. These individuals do not always have a title or lead position, but others trust them to lead when things go south.
If you are competent, hardworking, and respected in your community, you are halfway through becoming a leader. There are just some additional things you need to do in order to exercise more control over the people around you.
In this article, we will discuss what leadership is and how you can be a leader, even in the absence of a position.
What Is Leadership as a Skill?
Leadership skill constitutes abilities to initiate, manage and resolve tasks. It is the ability to help and aid other people fulfill their potential. Moreover, leadership skill is the ability to resolve conflicts while keeping the warring parties cordial.
It is to find ways to achieve a common goal and take appropriate risks to increase the revenue of a business. Other leadership skills include negotiation, communication, and diplomacy.
What Are Traditional Leadership Roles?
1. Positional Leadership
Positional leadership is where leaders lead from a position of power and have tangible influence over their followers. However, positional leadership can often turn selfish where leaders become indifferent to the concerns of others. A better way to lead is through inclusive means.
2. Knowledge Leadership
Such leaders use their knowledge of things, markets, and organizations to exert influence over others. They normally work in organizations that value knowledge retention, knowledge reuse, and knowledge collaboration.
3. Credibility Leadership
Credibility leadership is defined by followers who trust their leader’s capabilities and authority. Additionally, these followers consider their leaders to be competent. In turn, leaders can use this trust and get their way within an organization, thereby benefiting themselves and their team.
Leadership Without Position: How Can You Turn The Tables?
If you have been working in an organization without having a legitimate position, you can turn the tables and get recognition and a suitable title for your role within that organization. Here are some tips to help you.
1. Increase Your Self-Awareness
Self-awareness is the profound knowledge of one’s self, including one’s strengths and weaknesses. Most leaders do not know what attributes they lack and what behaviors trigger them.
The knowledge not only helps you keep yourself in check but also finds ways to improve your behavior. Additionally, it helps you act pre-emptively and identify what triggers you and find ways to avoid those situations.
2. Improve Your Communication Skills
Where most people prioritize speaking skills, leaders focus more on their listening skills. This is because you can learn more from listening to others than you can ever do by speaking alone. Speaking reveals what is in your head; it is limited.
Listening helps you learn from a diverse group of people, listen to their approach and broaden your own perspective. Additionally, this generates discourse and helps you achieve creativity.
3. Learn to Help Others
One of the best ways to transform leadership without a position is to help others and stand out from the crowd. Everyone in the office can complete their own task, there is little strength in that.
If you want to become a legitimate leader, you have to do what no one else is doing. Look around and see who needs help or a push from you. Assist people and ensure others around you are fulfilling their potential. This will push you into the limelight.
4. Coach and Mentor Your Juniors
If you have been in a company for some time, you may have many juniors who have joined after you. Look for them and become their coach and mentor. In the beginning, start with building a rapport and develop a connection.
Apart from helping you develop strong bonds and friendships, this will also help you gain prominence in the workplace. Coaching others will help hone your leadership skills and prepare you for the tough job ahead.
5. Learn to Work in a Team
Teamwork can seem counterproductive sometimes, especially if you are aspiring for a leadership position. However, in reality, leaders who put trust in a team and can share the burden of their team gain more prominence.
They are seen in a much more favorable light and others can relate to them. This also legitimizes their authority and convinces others that their leaders are just as capable of completing a task as any other person.
6. Be Assertive and Straightforward
Others can be people pleasers and always do as their boss commands; leaders, however, are assertive and know their boundaries. If something makes you uncomfortable and uneasy, have the courage to say no and refuse. This may make you unpopular with some people, but it will definitely make you popular with the people who count.
Moreover, it will make everyone know their boundaries and limitations when they are communicating with you. All this helps raise your station.
7. Involve Yourself in Conflict Resolution
Regardless of what leadership style you want to adopt in the future, it is important that you put yourself in uncomfortable situations and maneuver through them. You will witness many conflicts arising in people around you.
Your job is to help other people see reason and deal with situations rationally. Conflict resolution is an important leadership skill that one needs to learn through practice; it does not come automatically to you.
8. Delegate Tasks When Needed
Delegation as a leader is a challenge. Most leaders hesitate because they do not trust others to do the task as well as them. However, leaders who do not delegate experience burnout. They are always exhausted and are unable to put their all into the tasks.
Identify the most competent individuals around you and anytime you become a team lead or get some positions in the hierarchy, delegate the tasks to others and help them accomplish the job. This will prepare you for your tough job ahead.
9. Take on New Risks
Leaders often have to persevere in times of crisis. If you want to transform leadership without a position into one that holds legitimacy, take on new risks and always be prepared to face challenges.
Show others in your office that they can count on you when things go south.
10. Work on Your Networking
One of the reasons why leaders fail is because they do not work on their networking skills and do not develop long-lasting relationships. Work relations are important because they help make your job easy.
Moreover, these networks help you when you are aiming for leadership positions. Individuals who are trusted by other people in the office are usually chosen for leadership positions.
What Are the Most Important Leadership Skills
Here are the most important leadership skills that every leader needs.
The ability to take the right decisions at the right time is the biggest skill of a leader. Even when a crisis hits, the role of a leader is to find a way through that situation and achieve a win-win situation for all.
In the current status quo, with so many startups rising, organizations that do not adopt creative means can not compete with the giants. As a leader, one has to use this creativity to their advantage and devise innovative means of success.
Communication includes your ability to not only speak but also listen well. The former helps you say the right things and influence others. However, the latter helps you listen to other people’s perspectives and gain deeper insight into your business and your employees.
Often treated as a secondary leadership skill, empathy is important because it makes a leader more relatable. Empathizing with your employees makes them like and trust you more. Additionally, it makes you more human in the eyes of others.
Taking the lead when a situation arises is what good leaders do. However, great leaders can predict a problem and work on it pre-emptively. They can find solutions to a problem before the situation ever presents itself.
What Makes Someone a Leader? Title or Influence
Is someone a leader if they hold a position or a title, or is someone a leader if they are able to exert influence and convince others to follow them? Both are attributes of a leader. However, titles come and go, whereas grounded and solid influence can make someone lead for a long time.
Look at the famous leaders of history or feminist leaders of the world. You will notice that most of them were leading others and commanding respect long before they were awarded a tangible title. People like Martin Rosa Parks were able to initiate an entire movement just by her actions.
How Can You Demonstrate Leadership?
1. Join a Professional Association
Choosing the right association, one that credits and values emerging leaders, is important. Once inside, you can take the right steps and emerge as a leader of the organization.
2. Thought Leadership
This is an expression of ideas that signify and show others that you are an expert in a particular topic, field, or area. Thought leadership is important because it gives you credibility and authority to move up the ladder.
3. Go Beyond Your Job Title
With things like quiet quitting becoming the norm, it is important that potential leaders go beyond their job title and focus on helping and motivating others. The only way you can stand out is when the upper management can see you breaking shackles and taking on the responsibilities of a team lead.
Become an Emerging Leader With the Best Diplomats
If you have the right vision and the right mindset and wish to become a leader, you can do so by simply finding the right networks. Best Diplomats can act as a bridge between your capacity of leadership and you-finally getting recognition.
Over the years, Best Diplomats has trained thousands of individuals and made enhanced their competence. From improving their communication skills to building their confidence and self-awareness, this short course does it all.
It holds regular conferences and simulations in Istanbul, Dubai, and New York, among other cities. You can register for their simulation and get a chance to connect with other emerging leaders of the world.
Leadership is so much more than a title, and only people who enjoy leadership without a position can understand that. The sense of accomplishment one feels when others value their opinion and want them to lead them.
When others put their trust and faith in someone who does not hold a position but shows strength and courage. All these things make someone feel validated and accomplished.
If you want to be a leader, even when you do not have a proper title, be authentic and do your best. Others will see your worth soon enough.
Can I Become A Leader Without Having Any Title?
Leaders do not always need a title or a designation. They can exert influence and compel others to follow orders just by possessing top leadership skills.
Why Is Leadership Often Considered A Choice?
It is a choice because individuals make a conscious decision to adopt certain leadership qualities and go beyond their way to assist others.
Can Anyone Become A Great Leader?
If you possess the qualities of a great leader, you can become one just by sticking to your values, being consistent, and coaching others. All great leaders were self-made. They were not born as leaders.
Who Are Unofficial Leaders?
Unofficial or informal leaders are individuals who do not possess a title but have all the capabilities and the capacity to become a leader. They are reputable, have credibility, and others trust them.