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Three Actions that Prove You’re a Leader Before You Earn a Title

Lead with your words, actions and attitude.

Do I promote someone who is only 26 years old with two years of experience, or someone who is 36 years old with ten? Actually, there is a better question than age or tenure. When I looked to promote someone, I always asked, “Is this person leading already?”

I’ve seen 36 year olds who weren’t leading and 26 year olds who were. Neither of them had the title of leader. But the younger person acted like a leader now, while the older person was waiting to lead once they got the title.

Whether your title is project manager, supervisor, or even vice-president, the title does not make you a leader. Your actions do.

Your Duty includes your assigned tasks and your moral obligations. A 36 year old waiting to lead once they get the title, is only fulfilling his assigned tasks. A 26 year old who is leading today without a title, is fulfilling her moral obligations.

So how can you lead where you are and fulfill your moral obligations to the team, before you get promoted to the title of leader?

  1. Lead with your words. Ask yourself, “Am I forthright and ready to speak when the boss asks for feedback? Or am I part of the fearful and silent majority?”

  2. Lead with your actions. Ask yourself, “Do I wait to be told what to do? Or do I take the initiative and do what needs to be done?”

  3. Lead with your attitude. Ask yourself, “Am I a positive influence on others? Or do I join in with the complainers?”

There is no age requirement to start acting like a leader, but it does require you to exercise character. Each of the three actions listed above requires a person to exercise Courage, Humility, Integrity, Selflessness and Positivity. All of these Habits of Character require you to fulfill those moral obligations and therefore exercise the habit of Duty.

The prospects of getting promoted early in your career soar when your leadership is already on display. When you prove you don’t need to be asked to lead, you also prove you are the person most ready to lead.

Remember, people don’t follow you because of WHAT you can DO. They follow you because of WHO you ARE. If you have already proven yourself to be a leader, then there will be no questions as to whether you are ready for the new title.


  • How do your own words, actions, and attitudes prove you’re a leader?

  • What do you need to do differently in order to lead without a title?


“Would you follow you?” That is a critical question we all need to ask ourselves if we want to become Leaders of Character. Research has proven that people want to follow character. But where is your character today?

Here is a quick assessment that will take you 5 minutes to figure it out. Nobody will ever see your results but you.

Warning: If you are not going to be honest with yourself this is a worthless assessment.

To take the assessment use the QR code above or go to

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