That’s what John Maxwell has taught me… and a million others across the world.

The sad part is that leadership has become a commodity. Every one wants to become one but nobody wants to actually be one. Most leaders would rather impose authority than influence to get things done.

Where have all the leaders gone? I don’t know. But we’ve got one right within us waiting to be unleashed. Just that we’re waiting for someone’s permission. Unfortunately, you’re not going to get any because the world’s doing just fine with Level 1 leaders.

Here’s how John describes a Level 1 leader:

The lowest level of leadership—the entry level, if you will—is Position. It’s the only level that requires no ability or effort to achieve. After all, anyone can be appointed to a position! While nothing is wrong with having a leadership position, everything is wrong with relying only on that position to get people to follow. That’s because it only works if you have leverage (such as job security or a paycheck) over your followers. At Level 1, people only follow if they believe that they have to.

People who remain on the position level may find it difficult to work with volunteers. Why? Because position does not automatically result in influence, and volunteers are aware that they don’t have to follow anyone. They truly only follow if they want to.

Thankfully, if you or one of your loved ones is at this level there’s hope. You do have the choice to upgrade yourself to the next level, which is based on “relationships.” And how would you do that? By learning to lead yourself. How? Learn to prioritize and practice self-discipline.

I guess now you can relate why authority is imposed on you. Because the ones above you haven’t learned to prioritize and lack the self-discipline to make the main thing, the main thing. Among other things.