Show Notes - Leadership is NOT about you


Leadership is NOT about you

Aired on A Journeyman’s Travels Podcast on April 14, 2023
These are the notes from which I recorded the show. They’re a little unpolished since the original audience was just me. But I’ve added some of the reference material that I allude to in the podcast and post it here, should anyone want to ‘see how the sausage is made’.

Show Notes


Leadership is not title or position. Leadership is influence

  • There is a cultural confusions at play. Management != Leadership
  • And there is a growing awareness, so the statement that Leadership is not a title, but something else is not new.
  • But it does mean that leadership is not really just bequeathed on someone by an eternal force. Not just
    • Certainly someone can receive a role where they are expected to lead and given a group they are expect toi lead. But that won’t magically make them a leader.
  • Rather their ability to lead, to guide and improve the actions of others comes from their ability to influence ideas and behaviors. Leadership is influence.
  • See Definitions:
    • To Manage - To have charge of; direct or administer; To exert control over; To direct or supervise
    • To Lead - To show the way to by going in advance; To guide or direct in a course; To inspire the conduct of

Leader without followers is just a man out for a walk - Maxwell

  • “They don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care” - Maxwell
  • Critical question for a leaders self-reflection: am I someone others want to follow?
  • Golden Rule - would I want to follow me? (alt. someone who behaved like I do?)

Leadership is about the people you lead, and making them more effective

  • Leadership is a new skill. It’s not about doing more of what you once did as an Individual contributor.
  • It is about how you can bring those who follow you to produce more effectively or impactfully.
  • It is thus about seeing where the future might lead, and preparing people to act in way which help bring that about.
  • A classic example of this is in training. Often the new leader is one who was skilled at the role he is not expected to lead.
    • It is tempting to do the work.
    • But consider: the impact of a leader enabling the team or optimizing the work to be done, focusing on most value.