The Best Leadership Advice I've Ever Received

When I worked for an organization as its marketer, I was flattered when I was invited to give my input in important meetings, honored when asked to create departmental organization charts and proud to be known as the guy with the creative solutions.  

But after years of fielding questions and giving advice to everyone from the sales team to event producers to my supervisor, I started feeling undervalued and under appreciated. I was still called a “marketer,” yet I was doing so much more than what my title said I did.

At the peak of my frustration, I received John C. Maxwell’s book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, and in it is a quote that changed everything:

“The true measure of leadership is influence—nothing more, nothing less.”

For the first time, I realized leadership had nothing to do with my position or job title, but everything to do with my level of impact on those around me. It was such a powerful, clarifying moment.

When people are willing to grant you influence in their lives—no matter the capacity—you are a leader, whether your email signature reads senior vice president or assistant coordinator. Once you realize this, and I hope you do soon, your mentality shifts, as does your approach. You start to see your contribution for what it is - true value.

And even more, you now have a personal responsibility to lead with integrity. There's no turning back from that. As a person in a position of leadership, you are the thermostat that regulates the temperature of your organization, your team, your home and in your relationships. This role is the most important one you'll ever do.

So, now that you understand your value, what will you do with it?