The Uneducated Leader

Getting your foot in the door of a leadership position can be difficult, if not seemingly impossible. Yet you can become a leader without an education.

Many great organizational leaders have stepped into a leadership role without formal education. They didn’t let their lack of education stop them from becoming great leaders.

Man with laced up brown boots sitting on concrete stairs

Photo by Camila Damasio

These leaders often had to step up when no one else would. They would see a challenge and choose to move towards the challenge, rather than away from it. They knew someone had to take action and why not them?

How The Uneducated Are Often Seen

Sadly, those who don’t hold a formal degree are often looked down upon. The views of many seem to be that formally uneducated people lack drive and passion. They’re flakey and won’t stick around.

This is understandable. This is also untrue.

Just because you never finished college doesn’t mean you lack the skills needed to be a successful leader. In fact, you may be just the type of person who needs to become a leader.

How The Uneducated Often Become Leaders

If you never obtained your bachelor’s or master’s degree, you may feel there is a prejudice against the uneducated person. You discovered there’s a gatekeeper looking to keep those without formal education out of an organization.

The interesting thing you may not know is that many times the founders of the organization you’re applying to may not have had the education level being looked for in job descriptions. These founders lacked the education they’re looking for to fill positions.

So, how does a traditionally uneducated person become a leader? They take the lead.

They may raise their hand when someone within their organization calls for volunteers. Or they may decide to strike out on their own and start their own business. Still, others might choose to show the education they’ve gained outside of school.

There’s no right or wrong way to become a leader if you don’t have an education. What you need to do is show you are able to get the job done, lead people effectively, and bring people up along with you.

These are the traits of a leader. These are the skills organizations are looking for.

Can you be a leader? I believe you can.

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