Steve has been working as a janitor for two years at a local clinic. Even though he often works evenings with little supervision, he always is upbeat, hardworking and shows up on time for work. Steve’s coworkers, from doctors to receptionists, enjoy it when Steve is around and often feel motivated in their own jobs by observing the positive way in which Steve works.

Webster’s Dictionary defines a leader as someone who has “the power or ability to lead other people.” In a general sense, we often think of a leader as the President or a high-level executive of a company; the individual who has been granted authority over a country or an organization. However, the reality is that we can all be leaders in whatever our field or station in life.

Steve, as a janitor in the clinic, is demonstrating leadership within his organization despite having no authority over anyone and is in a field (janitorial service) that is often overlooked. Whether you are the “big cheese” in your organization or the “little guy,” you have the power to influence those around you. This power to influence can be either positive or negative.

While everyone has a bad day from time to time, do you pick up the pieces and move on, or continue down that negative path? When you misstep in your words or attitudes around your coworkers, do you take the time to apologize and try to correct the behavior?

Over the next few weeks, we will delve into what it means to be a leader, but don’t wait for us. Start today by reflecting on your own behaviors that exhibit leader-like qualities and work on demonstrating a good work ethic and positive attitude.