Becoming an Invisible Leader: Being Famous vs Being Great



You may have noticed by now that becoming an invisible leader isn’t easy. In fact, it goes against our natural human instincts!

Giving without receiving doesn’t come naturally to any of us … and neither does letting someone else get the credit. But if you’re looking to be a leader whose impact outlasts their time here on earth — one who is called to a higher purpose than just being “in charge” — it’s important to fight against those natural human tendencies.

Another step to becoming an invisible leader is deciding whether you want to be famous or great. In other words, is your leadership based on recognition or impact?

Is your leadership based on recognition or impact? Click To Tweet

I won’t sit here and tell you not to be concerned with getting more social media followers, clients, or church members. What I will say is this: The amount of people you “reach” isn’t always the same as the amount of people you impact.

Don’t let building your platform overshadow the impactful work you’ve been called to do. Because there’s more to leadership than being in the spotlight.

Don’t let building your platform overshadow the impactful work you’ve been called to do. Click To Tweet

John Maxwell says the only person who is worried about being copied is the person who is afraid they’ll never have another idea. It’s okay if someone else gets the credit. It’s okay to help someone else be great … even if it doesn’t make you famous.

In his leadership podcast, Andy Stanley talks about becoming a “Beyond You” leader. That’s a leader who thinks outside of themselves. Someone who “fearlessly and selflessly” helps the other leaders around them. In the “Beyond You Leader” episode, he says this:

“When you hear the word ‘fearless’ in the context of leadership, you usually think: new challenges, risk-taking, doing something no one’s ever done before. But when I talk about fearlessness within the context of being a Beyond You leader, I’m not talking about that. I’m referring to the fear that we sometimes feel when we look behind us and we see someone coming along … that’s from the next generation. [Someone] that we think might be better than us, or more talented than us, that are more educated than us, further along than we were when we were their age. So what happens sometimes in leadership — because it’s easy to be threatened by next generation leaders — we miss an opportunity to invest in next generation leaders. And a Beyond You leader is someone who recognize this is an opportunity, this is not a threat. I’m not going to be afraid of this, I’m going to figure out how to leverage this for the sake of the next generation, this current organization — or any organization — or just my legacy in general.”

I challenge you (and me) to be a fearless leader, like Andy described. Let’s choose to be fearless, not famous! It’s conscious decision we can make as we navigate through our role. Do I want to be famous, or do I want to be great?



Sign up to receive my posts via email and get a FREE copy of 21 Actions to Jumpstart Momentum