People in leadership positions are postured to wield power. Our culture is conditioned to submit under these titles and tenure to the point of losing our identity. Glorification of figures like Warren Buffet, Tim Cook, and Mark Zuckerberg, add to the feeding freezing of power hungry ladder climbing managers and directors. I too find myself standing on the rungs of ambition looking above and below fighting with my inner Frank Underwood. What I'm learning is that the game of success is less about power and more about submission.
As the director of a boutique Cincinnati video production company I find myself divided by needs and desires. I desire to express my creativity through the art of editing, but I need to submit my AMEX reports. I desire to learn more about color correction, but I need to deliver estimates for clients. This tension can build tremendous pressure in your grip. I'm learning that leadership happens when you let go.
Real power comes from the ability to empower. Trusting those around you who are great at what they do is the quickest way for you and your team to rise.
Why climb a ladder when you can elevate to the next level?
When our company is lock-step marching towards a goal there is a sense of invincibility. We might be small but we trust that our unified strengths will carry us forward. Shared ambition is amplified beyond any one man's desire to succeed. A sense of duty takes hold and the good of the group supersedes the ego (don't worry there is still plenty of ego).
As you continually take inventory of your work-life journey, look around and ask yourself: are marching with a platoon or standing in a lagoon. Although you may have the title of General you can easily get lost in your rank.