John C. Maxwell said, “Leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less.” By that definition, you are a leader.
People listen to you, not necessarily because of your title, skills, or experience, but because of your character, compassion, and strength.
People look up to leaders. They want to associate with them, learn from them, follow them. As a leader, you set the destination and the pace of the journey.
“This is where I’m going,” you say. “I hope you’ll join me.”
You show the world the path to a better future and some people choose to follow.
As a lawyer, you may be able to persuade them to follow. As a leader, you let them persuade themselves.
Others will choose not to follow. You have to let them go. You can’t change the destination or compromise your values because of the whims of a few. You can’t slow down for the stragglers, they need to keep up with you.
You’ll disappoint people. You’ll face criticism. Your willingness to accept this is part of your strength, part of what makes others want to follow.
You can’t be an effective leader if you try to please everyone. You have to stay the course and be willing to accept the casualties.
As Steve Jobs said, “If you want to make everyone happy, don’t be a leader. Sell ice cream.”
Leaders build their influence through regular communication