Is Leadership Relevant For Everyone?

by Yvonne Ruke Akpoveta

When many hear the word ‘Leadership’, it is easy to associate it with someone who leads others, is in a position of power or management. However, these are easily one of the biggest leadership myths and misconceptions that is slowly changing.

Very early in life and my career, I felt that in order to effectively lead others or have others do something, you needed to be in a position of power. However, over time I have seen and learnt otherwise. I have observed the most influential and effective leaders are those who are able to lead and influence others without relying on the ‘stick and carrot’ approach e.g. leaders of volunteer organisations.

Leadership Influence Circle - Leadership Coach Speaker Yvonne Ruke Akpoveta

John C. Maxwell, regarded as one of the top global leadership experts, defines the true measure of leadership as Influence – nothing more, nothing less. Leadership is not directing, commanding or managing, leadership is influencing others to take action or follow; be it family, friends, colleagues, your boss or team.

Position provides a platform for anyone, but Influence is what keeps you in that position and takes you to the next level.

John also shares in his book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” that our Leadership ability is the LID that determines our level of effectiveness, known as the ‘Law of the Lid’. Where our LID is the maximum level at which we can be effective. Therefore, if our leadership ability were to rate at a 6, our level of effectiveness, and ability to lead others or impact our organisation could never be greater than a 5.

The higher you want to climb, the more you need leadership. The greater the impact you want to make, the greater your influence should be – John C. Maxwell.


  • It determines our level of effectiveness in all areas of our lives; helping us to be more effective in taking a lead in our personal and professional lives
  • It increases our sphere of influence with others (team, colleagues, boss, family), as well as in leading others, and getting things done
  • It enables us manage and deal with change more effectively; helping us build character traits and skills to respond to change more quickly, and deal with the ambiguity that often comes with change
  • It differentiates us in a crowd to be singled out and recognised, and to rise higher and higher

To help raise your lid and develop your leadership skills, consider some of the following:

  • Identify your leadership gaps, have a leadership mindset and be intentional about developing yourself as a leader
  • Find a mentor(s) for 1-2-1 mentoring, or consider mentorship from a distance by studying, observing and learning from leaders you respect
  • Read books on leadership and self-development
  • Attend leadership training, events and conferences
  • Surround yourself with other leaders – iron sharpens iron

Leadership is NOT always about title, position or power. It provides required traits and skills for everyone that when applied to both our personal and professional lives it helps us excel… “Everything rises and falls on leadership”.

What are your thoughts on the value of leadership?