Leadership without the Title

Monday, July 2, 2018 | Posted by: Alpha Kappa Psi

Leadership in the workplace is often associated with managerial positions, but we know leaders can be found at all levels of an organization. Sometimes, those doing the leading don’t even realize that’s what they are doing, while others know they are leaders, but without the title and training aren’t sure how to grow their leadership skills on their own. One fun way to think about leaders and how to be a better one from within the ranks is to watch movies where characters pull off the same feat. We thought of five awesome examples of leadership without the title that have found expression on film. Does one of these scenarios sound like you?  


Doing More than Your Job

Regardless of what your job requires, there will be times when you need to step out of your role and work with others for success. In episode seven of the Star Wars franchise, Rey, a lonely scavenger, and Finn, a defected storm trooper, join the Rebel Alliance. They work together to help search for Luke Skywalker, even though they were far removed from the rebel cause. These two saw a need and found their place in achieving the goal, regardless of their status on the team or even the skills needed to succeed. Rey didn’t know how to use a lightsaber, but she picked it up anyway and learned as she went.


Encouraging Your Team

Bringing optimism to the workplace will not only affect your outlook, it can also promote good morale and creativity throughout your team. Openly encouraging coworkers can cause them to do the same for others. Famous for her positivity is Elle Woods, from Legally Blonde. She goes to Harvard Law School, where she is clearly different from everyone else. No one relates to her glamorous lifestyle, yet she finds ways to encourage everyone to do their best. This is a great example of how positivity can help bridge gaps and promote success through hard work. At the end, everyone is grateful to Elle for her generosity of spirit.


Leading Projects

Even if your position doesn’t require you to take on new responsibilities, consider asking to lead a project you’re interested in. This challenge could help you grow your skill set, and encourage others to do the same. To learn new skills and defeat He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, Harry Potter takes on the challenge of assembling a secret team of Hogwarts students. Harry took this role, even as a student, because he knew it needed to be done and that he couldn’t defeat Voldemort with just his magical abilities alone. By stepping up to lead his fellow wizards and witches, Harry got to grow as a leader while also making sure things got done right.


Making Tough Choices

On just about any team, tough calls will need to be made. When you make these decisions with the intent to better the team, it shows dedication to everyone’s success. When Gary from Remember the Titans noticed his best friend wasn’t giving 100% on the football field, he takes the issue directly to the coach. Later as team captain, Gary cuts his friend from the team, despite their friendship. Even if you aren’t in a “captain” role, you should be prepared to make tough decisions for the better of the team. This could mean everything from tightening a project deadline to asking your co-worker to stop microwaving fish in the break room.


Creating Changes

Each workplace has a different mission and a different way of getting there. Sometimes the most efficient pathway to success isn’t being used. If you discover an alternative practice that can yield better results, considering discussing it with your superior. The Chief in Moana never allowed villagers to sail past the reef, afraid of the dangerous ocean. But, Moana knew if she went on her journey, she had a chance to undue the curse chasing the fish away. The Chief protested her efforts, but Moana achieved her goal and broke the curse. There are times when old ways should be changed to promote efficiency, and those new ideas can come from anyone.


These movie moments showcase the multiple ways leadership takes place every day, from any person, at any level. Whether you’re the captain of the team or the force-sensitive scavenger, you can make positive impact and inspire others to find their own inner leader. (Just remember, sometimes, everyone has to follow, too.)


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