Last week I facilitated a workshop about effective leadership. One of the comments I shared was a concept from Warren Bennis that often people are leaders in one situation, but not in another. For example, you may not be a leader at work, but be president of your neighborhood association, or you may be a supervisor in the office but a concession volunteer for your booster club.
I think this goes beyond holding a leadership position or not. I may serve in a leadership role for one item at a meeting, and someone else may act in that capacity for another topic. I am no less of a leader in scenario two, but I may exercise my leadership traits by comments I make or conclusions that I draw rather than in how I present the material.
Leadership happens in the middle, not at the top. Almost everyone has someone above them. Vice presidents have presidents. Presidents have boards. Boards have shareholders and government officials. And so on.
Don’t worry about where you fall in the hierarchy. Act like an Oreo — with the good stuff in the middle — and lead from where you are.