By Lolly Daskal

Everyone has the potential to be a leader, regardless of title or position.

But many people give themselves the title of leader, and expect others to think of them as a leader without actually understanding the meaning of leadership.

There are also those who have been positioned as a leader by others. They may be ranked at the top of a hierarchy and hold an important position, but who fail us when we need them.

Whether we are granted the title of leader by others or take it upon ourselves, we must remember that leadership is an honor and a privilege and something that must be earned—because others are counting on us and they are placing their trust in us.

Leadership, regardless of labels, must be earned. In short, you earn leadership by knowing what matters.

Behavior matters. It doesn’t matter what your rank or role may be, where you come from, or if your title sounds impressive, you are not leader if your behaviors don’t demonstrate the integrity of doing the right thing.

Trust matters. Leaders must earn trust. You must set the example, know that you are setting the example, and have a deep understanding that trustworthiness takes character. To be trusting requires values, to be trusted requires earning the privilege.

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