Do Have to be a Boss to be a Leader?

Last week, my friend Nick shared a story with me about an individual (we’ll call him “Larry”) with whom he had worked.  He called the individual a true example of leadership even though Larry’s job was never thought of as a leadership position.

“Larry and I were on a jobsite when there was a lightning strike nearby and there were people in the area of the strike.  While it wasn’t really his job, Larry immediately ran to where the people were and began checking on the condition of the people.  Who was injured?  How badly were they hurt?  Who had called the  EMT’s?

“Larry took the initiative and dug right in, making sure everyone was OK, everyone was safe.  He took the initiative when he saw something that needed to be done and made sure it was done and done right.”

Nick concluded that Larry’s willingness to respond to a need and get to work made Larry a real leader.  As Nick said, “Larry didn’t want to stand on the sidelines and direct traffic; tell everybody else what to do.  He was willing to get his hands dirty and do what needed to be done, confident that others would follow his example.”