I’ve been trying to escape the title of “leader” almost my whole professional life. I never really have understood why until recently, but I think it’s in part because I imagined leadership to be a job for people with more drive to succeed than I had. I thought of it as an echelon for the powerbrokers and the people who cared more about their status and who loved playing “office politics”. Admittedly, this was an immature mentality I had. However, over the years, I learned that the best leaders were people I could most relate to. They were people I automatically wanted to emulate whether they had a “director” or “leader” title or not.
As I grew in my own career, I started to realize I wanted to be a leader, but by then, I had missed many opportunities to push myself to that goal. I had a comfort zone and because I clung to it too much, I had convinced myself that I was not actually fit for leadership, but the truth is that I was the only one holding myself back from being a leader where I was at. It’s now clear to me that to be a good leader, there are qualities which someone may possess and they don’t even realize that this makes them just as good (if not better) of a leader as the person above them.