Leaders get results through influence built on trust, guided by truth. Neither of these traits and behaviors are granted by a job title, require permission, and as far as I know, aren’t listed as qualifications in job ads.
Effective leaders get results that lead to benefit the whole. They focus on the outcome, the actions to get there, and with truth in mind.
A focus on outcome means a leader knows what they want, and why the want it. They also know why their followers want the result.
A job title doesn’t guarantee the person will achieve results, nor does it guarantee they have achieved results its responsible for. You can register your own LLC, grant yourself the title of CEO, and never earn a profit.
A job title can grant power, and it can be stripped away just as swiftly. Influence can be timeless, lasting decades, centuries, and millennia.
Influence is, according to its definition at least, “the power or capacity of causing an effect in indirect or intangible ways.”
Power granted by a job title is direct, granting a person some control to ensure they can carry out their responsibilities. Influence is indirect, and doesn’t need control control.
Power granted by a job title is tangible; it can be changed by policies and laws. Influence is intangible, which requires a greater deal of effort that can’t be destroyed simply by decree.
Trust & Truth
Trust is built from evidence that actions taken were done with truth in mind, and truth as the result. One can execute power through force, but this leads to fear, and when those fears are overcome, it leads to resistance. That resistance, fully realized, strips the person from ever retaining power again.
Decisions guided by truth never fail, even if the results did not materialize. Trust in leadership is stronger than the result so long as the leader was truthful. The antithesis to this is manipulation: people who promise one thing, and deliver something that is to the detriment of those who helped them.
Leaders influence excellent, qualify character and decisions in others. You don’t need permission, and you don’t need a job title, to influence others. Stick to the truth, and do it with integrity, morals, and you will see, in time, how far your influence reaches. It may be timeless.