District 41 Toastmasters

Nurturing Leadership Beyond Titles: Insights for Sustained Influence

According to John C. Maxwell, “A leader is the one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
Providing instructions is a simple task that anyone can perform. Particularly in positional leadership, it’s no surprise that people may follow you with counterfeit respect and mock-up devotion without a question. This respect might fade once the position changes hands.

Your leadership will come into action when you embrace responsibility and ownership, in every single step and for every single success or failure you or your team have ever made. It is not just about having superior skills, knowledge, command, or respect in society, but a true leader is the one who takes risks and puts in unreserved effort to earn that respect as an individual.

Positional leadership might be the most convenient and easy way to achieve it, but maintaining it takes a lot of patience, consistent efforts, and a non-judgmental attitude.

Correctly said by Ronald Reagan, “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”
What I realized through my experiences is that you can be a great leader only by setting the right example. By being the first to fight against your own fears. If you want to become a motivational speaker, first learn to be motivated by others’ actions. If you want to become a good driver, continue honing your skills even after you get the license. If you want to be heard, first learn to listen. And if you want to be forgiven for your mistakes as a leader, begin with an apology.

A leader is not the one who has hundreds or thousands of followers, it is the one who is being silently followed by someone, eagerly, regularly, and consciously. Even if that someone, is just one person. People often say that leaders are born. Others say that leadership is a skill that can be achieved with certain practices. Let me tell you a secret: we all are leaders—not only leaders but great leaders.

Even if you have only one follower, or a well-wisher or a friend, you are already a leader. Now the question is, “How to maintain that quality in order to retain your designation?” This is the most difficult yet interesting task.

The best way to sustain that leadership ability is by focusing on self-love before you care for others. Prioritize the well-being of your mind, body and soul. Once your soul is fully satisfied, it will lead to fulfillment in other aspects of your life. Always be grateful for what you have. And you shall have the greatest number of followers you have ever imagined. Keep your emotions guarded and grounded. Becoming a leader is easy, but sustaining it demands a lot of care, patience, and time.

Soon, people will start following the path you have chosen with utmost trust in your journey. They will follow you, without even asking how you did it or why, simply because your leadership resonates authentically.

Monica Banik
Gurgaon Orator Toastmaster Club