In The Absence of Leadership – Lead!

Leaders are defined by those that are following them. If no one is following you, you are not a leader. A man with no one following him is a man out for a walk by himself. It really is that simple.

By definition leadership means: the act or an instance of leading. A person or thing that leads. A guiding or directing head. In it’s simplicity, the bottom line is, if you think you are a leader, take a moment and look over your shoulder. What do you see? Is anyone following you? If you take a gander over your shoulder and there is someone back there I would say you are well on your way.

  • Leaders, lead. They don’t follow. They know how to follow but given the opportunity to lead, leaders lead
  • Leaders, lead. They don’t wonder about their leadership, they are clear they are a leader
  • Leaders, lead. They don’t defer to others – they lead

In the absence of leadership, lead. This is a Darleneism. It is something I say to those I am coaching to develop their leadership skills. Leaders inspire, motivate and persuade others to come with them along the journey. In whatever capacity you find yourself as a leader, you must take people with you. People are key to the success of leaders. Coercion doesn’t work. If people don’t trust you or walk in fear of you, you can’t take them anywhere.

So what am I trying to say?

For new leaders or novices – Leaders lead! You should know whether you are a leader. Typically no one has to tell you. It’s in you, even if you stumble along the way. Remember that leadership is about people, results, vision, trust and integrity. In the absence of leadership – lead! Don’t look around and see who else should step up. You step up when no one else is there. That’s how you gain the experience you will need. 

For seasoned leaders – In the absence of leadership, do what you do – lead. If you are seasoned, there is not much else I can say to you. Continue to sharpen your leadership skills. Make sure people are your priority. Ensure that you have clear vision and take people somewhere. Most importantly, groom new leaders. Novices need mentors. The best place for a novice to get a mentor is from someone who has been in the trenches. That’s you! Lead!