What is Leadership? Can you be a leader without a title?

How many of you feel you’re not a leader because you don’t have a “leader’s title”? When we think of what a “leader’s title” is, we often confuse it with a “boss’s title” such as manager, director, president, or CEO. But there’s a difference between being a boss and being a leader—to start off, you don’t need a title to be a leader. And, simply having a title won’t make you a leader. Everyone has the opportunity to lead, every day. Anyone at any level can learn to be a leader and help to shape or influence the world around them, but what is leadership?

Consider these things:

  •      Do you shape your life and career?
  •      Do you affect the quality of others’ experience?
  •      Do you inspire or influence others?
  •      Do you work to achieve specific goals by working with or coordinating the efforts of others?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, whether you realize it or not, you are a leader!

What is leadership?

It is often described as “Positive Influence”. That’s the most simple and elegant definition of leadership I know.

Here are some key characteristics of real leaders:


  •      Believe they can positively shape their lives and careers.
  •      Lead through their relationships with people, as opposed to their control over people.
  •      Collaborate rather than control.
  •      Persuade others to contribute, rather than order them to.
  •      Get others to follow them out of respect and commitment rather than fear and compliance.

Despite popular myths, leaders—whether with titles or not—aren’t born. They learn how to lead. The real test of leadership is: If you had no title or ability to reward or penalize others, could you still get them to follow you?

Check out this video to learn more about being a leader!