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Lead UP – Leadership is not a title


Leading is required in all areas of our lives – home, work, family and relationships – and yet we often forget that leadership is not a title; it is an action. The concept that Emergent calls LeadUP is defined by speaking and influencing from any position or project in which we are involved. The concept arose from our frequent experience with clients and teams who feel that they are holding back and not contributing to their fullest potential. This “holding back” can come in the form of not questioning others, not contributing ideas, and not giving their best. We then sought to answer the question of why this happens, and what we can do about it.

All of us deal with what’s called the “inner critic” – the devil on the shoulder who tells us we’re not smart enough; that we’re new and therefore not good enough; that we’re not confident enough in our ideas; that we’re too young/old/whatever. Leadership is the positive voice, if you will, on our other shoulder – it propels us into action, and reminds us it’s okay to make mistakes once we get in the ring. Leadership allows us – compels us – to face our fears and overcome our “inner critics.” For example, I often coach leaders to look at the advantages of being new – being able to see projects or work from a new perspective that others might not.

Leaders cannot help their teams and your organizations be high performing by holding back or feeling like their ideas don’t matter. Instead, lead by example, and realize that you’re not just leading for yourself – you’re leading for your team and organization and the impact you can have on clients. We are all here to make an impact to the communities, organizations, and clients we serve. We are all here to LeadUP.

How can you help someone else reap the benefits of this process? We all need people who see talents in us that we may not see, or opportunities that we might miss. We need to be reminded that we have the ability to adapt, to be resilient, and to persevere in the face of adversity, and leaders understand this. Make it a point today to appreciate someone’s strengths and encourage them to be brave. By appreciating and empowering others, we help ourselves feel more confident … and the LeadUp circle is complete.

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