People confuse leadership with authority. They say they want to get a promotion so they can lead. But what they really want is authority...to be able to tell someone what to do. They want control…to be the boss. They want this for status and to earn more money. And almost all organizations are set up this way…people in charge, managing other people to produce outcomes more efficiently. The better you fit into the system, the more successful you become and in turn you receive more authority. And the cycle continues. But this has nothing at all to do with leadership. Leadership isn’t reserved for people with direct control over another. It has nothing to do with giving instructions. Leadership requires vision for change, the ability to enroll people in a cause and the desire to take responsibility when something doesn’t work out as planned. It means you’re on the hook. Authority comes with a system, a structure that’s on the hook. There are always systems and other people to blame when it doesn’t work.
I haven’t met many people who want more people telling them what to do and exactly how to do it. Alternatively, I meet a lot of people who want to go somewhere exciting, create a legacy and be a part of something bigger than themselves. Seems logical then that we need more leadership and less authority. So who to promote…choose wisely.