Living Up to the Promise of a Leadership Title

by Jennifer Miller on August 4, 2014

in Leadership

organizational chartAre the leaders in your organization living up to their titles? Yes, yes, I know. The organizational title is a dinosaur. But the reality is that very few organizations have learned to operate without the hierarchy. So, for those companies that still rely on titles, most employees have expectations about how people in senior management roles should behave. They want leaders with vision, integrity, and character.

And not all leaders live up to those expectations.

Case in point: I was talking with a friend who was recently promoted to Chief Information Officer at a large HR consulting vendor. He told me the transition was going well, but as to be expected, there were a few bumps in the road. Evidently, some of his team members were struggling with his emphasis on accountability. He told me:

“Some of my new direct reports are realizing that if you hold the title of VP or Director you actually have to live up to the title and not just put it on your email signature line.”

So, this new CIO gets it. But sadly, many newly promoted leaders don’t. With leadership comes responsibility. Job titles are worthless if leaders don’t back them up with the appropriate actions. Over the years, I’ve witnessed too many people who accept a promotion into management without fully considering the weight of responsibility that comes with their new role.

It’s not about what the actual words on the signature line say; it’s what those words promise. People who have formal leadership titles have made a promise (often unspoken) that they will provide leadership. Leadership is a tough gig. But it’s what they signed up for when they accepted the promotion.

Food for thought: What’s on your email signature line? No matter what your job title, are you living up to its promise?
Copyright: iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo


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