NTOA Forums Tactical Leadership General Leadership Do You Have to hold a Title to Take a Leadership Position? Reply To: Do You Have to hold a Title to Take a Leadership Position?

Jesse Laintz

To be a leader it does not require a title, there are many leaders without titles. Leadership is not about titles it is the ability to influence people. John C. Maxwell has stated this by explaining, “Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” A title may give a leader the ability to have more influence because of the power they are given, but the power is the gateway that allows a leader to become influential. Power, in and of its self, does not guarantee influence because it is relational and the perception of the follower. If a person acts on their title of ‘leader’ and expects followers they are acts with coercive and legitimate power, thus not a leader. A true leader has the power to influence others by satisfying their needs and goals.

I don’t want to make this a religious discussion; but, several great examples of leaders without a title are Saint and Nun Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, and Jesus Christ. Each had prolific groups of followers that had a significant impact on the world, none of which had a ‘title’.