Why You Are a Leader

January 13, 2023
  • Bob Chapman
  • Bob Chapman
    CEO & Chairman of Barry-Wehmiller

At Barry-Wehmiller, we believe that everybody has the capacity to be a leader.

I recently read an article from Forbes, Nine Ways To Demonstrate That You’re A Leader When Your Job Is Individual Contributor. In it, the author says:

True leadership is not about where your job title sits in the corporate org chart—or even what your title is. Instead, leadership is a mindset. An attitude. A set of actions and behaviors showing that your contributions extend far outside the items on your to? do-list.

Everyone plays an important role in a business or organization. We all play a part in creating value as well as an environment of care, in being there for each other.

We’re all part of a team. Whether you’re the coach, the quarterback or a lineman, everyone has a role as part of their organization/team.

I often recall something said to me by Steve Jones, a high school football coach at Kimberly High School in Kimberly, WI. Steve’s teams hold the state record in consecutive victories in Wisconsin.

I once asked Steve what he taught his players about winning and losing. He said they didn’t. He said that they teach them to play their position well for their fellow team members. Do it as an act of respect for their teammates.

In our Culture of Service Foundations class, taught through Barry-Wehmiller University, we teach our people that they should be seizing the opportunity to serve others.

Serving others should define the heart of a leader, but to be a good teammate, we should always look for opportunities to show we care. So, the mindset and attitude of leadership, caring for others, is part of being on a team.

You may not have people who report to you. You may not be one of the senior leaders in your organization, but your words and actions can make an incredible impact on the people around you. Those actions can make a huge difference, not only in your organization, but in the world.

You don’t have to be a formal leader of people to realize that those around you are also someone’s precious child and apply that in your interactions. You should always want to empathetically listen to others, doing so shows respect and recognizes their inherent dignity. You can recognize and celebrate those around you without a formal title. The greatest skill of a leader is to listen with empathy, not to debate or judge, but to understand and validate.

At the very least, we can be the encouragement and the kind word that helps the person next to us. We can look for opportunities to serve others. And all of us can measure our success by the way we touch others’ lives. We imagine a society where people think of others first.

There are many resolutions you can have this new year, but I encourage you to read the Forbes article I reference above. It is a good starting point for all of us to re-evaluate our own impact in our organizations and in the world.

Just think, what if we all resolved to adopt a mindset of Truly Human Leadership and tried to meet the needs of others, instead of our own, in each daily encounter? It would completely change the way we, as a society, interact.

It could change the world.

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Need help in applying principles of Truly Human Leadership in your organization? Chapman & Co. Leadership Institute is Barry-Wehmiller's leadership consulting firm that partners with other companies to create strategic visions, engage employees, improve corporate culture and develop outstanding leaders through leadership training, assessments and workshops.

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