There Are No Leadership Positions

Position Does Not Make a LeaderToo often we hear – or maybe even say, “they’re in a leadership position“. At best, this is misleading. At worst, it’s flat out wrong. Your title makes you a manager. Your role makes you a leader.

Positions for Managers

A title defines a management position. If you are in an executive, director, or manager position, you have responsibility for managing schedules, objectives, and assets. Positions and titles can be given or offered by organizations.

Definition of Position according to Meriam-Webster
Definition of Position according to Meriam-Webster

Roles for Leaders

Your role defines your leadership. If people follow you, regardless of your title, you are a leader. Your title could place you at the lowest level on the totem pole, but you may still be a leader. Roles and influence must be earned from those you lead.

Definition of Role according to Meriam-Webster
Definition of Role according to Meriam-Webster

It is well understood that management is not the same as leadership. So let’s stop suggesting a position identifies a leader. Your position makes you a manager but your role makes you a leader.



Picture of Ben Lichtenwalner

Ben Lichtenwalner

Ben Lichtenwalner is the founder and principal of Modern Servant Leader and Radiant Forest, LLC. He has studied and promoted servant leadership awareness and adoption for over 20 years. He is the author of 2 leadership books and has 2 decades of corporate management and leadership experience. His corporate experience spans CIO, VP, Director, and many management roles at Fortune 500, INC 500, and Nonprofits. Ben’s education includes a B.S. in Management Science & Information Systems from Penn State University and an MBA from Lehigh University. Ben's Full Profile Here: About Ben Lichtenwalner

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Content

Servant Leadership Library

A list of companies that value servant leadership. This list includes big names like Southwest Airlines, Starbucks and YUM Brands as well as many, often less-known organizations.

Scroll to Top
We Value Your Privacy

This site uses cookies to enhance your experience. We do not share, sell, or lease your information for any other purpose.