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AUDIO: 5 Paradoxes About Being The Leader No One Talks About

by Greg Yates | Breakthrough Leadership

Ididn’t understand the question. Cindy repeated it for me. “Before I can do that I need to have a title. I need people to know I have authority.”

She had brought the suggestion for improvement on her line and it seemed like a good one. I would have half expected it to be implemented without any pomp and circumstance at all, but now I understood why: Cindy, like far too many others, failed to realize she didn’t have to have a title to be a leader.

Every organization since the beginning of time has struggled with this paradox. And, every organization has seen both ineffective appointed leaders and effective unofficial ones.

When the issue comes up, who does everyone look to? Who offers suggestions, builds the tribal culture and plugs the gaps without a second thought about it? And why is this phenomenon so surprising? That might be another great question.

There are 5 paradoxes about being the leader no one talks about:

1. They Feel Rewarded Without a Reward

We’re all leaders at some level and when we lead, believe me, it is its own reward; having influence on others in a helpful, uplifting, positive way is more satisfying than money.

2. Influence Without Empowerment

When you generously share your influence, your great ideas, your love and your support, you’re leading and your influence grows whether someone has empowered you, entitled you or TOLD you to do it.

You can have influence without external empowerment.

3. Taking Ownership Without Having Ownership

When you lead, you share in the ownership of an idea, a life, an outcome and even in an organization. You don’t have to be an owner, to take ownership.

4. Having Followers When You’re Not Their Leader

Generous leadership generates followers without looking for them.

Regardless the appointed leader, momentum is identified by others who will follow, even if you don’t have a title.

5. Being an Agent for Change When Nobody Realizes They Are Changing

Leadership means leading change and the best change of all happens when nobody knows they are changing.

True uncommon leadership inspires and leads change without the demands of external policy or lines in the sand.

Being a great leader means leading even when nobody is talking about it. And that’s Breakthrough Leadership.

Add your comments to the conversation:

Which of these leadership paradoxes have you experienced in your own career?

Post your reply below.

About Greg

Greg Yates has been a Chicago area businessman for over 30 years. He’s the author of the book, "Broken - How Being Broken Unlocked The Greatest Success of My Life". He has simultaneously owned 14 different businesses in a variety of industries; including real estate, manufacturing, payroll, and technology. Greg has also been an investor and a board member. He attended Olivet Nazarene University. He has a passion for flying. He’s had a pilot’s license for over 30 years and owned a variety of airplanes. Greg and his wife Vicki have been married over 37 years. They have a son, a daughter and seven grandchildren.

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