I’m ready to lead…says who?
- …your experience?
- …your knowledge?
- …your degree?
- …your performance?
I must confess when I became a “leader”, I wasn’t ready at all. I actually sucked at it. I didn’t really start leading until 2012. And yet, I had direct reports since 2007.
I hear many people asking to lead because of their subject matter expertise or because that’s the next thing to put on their resume. I see too many of them thinking they can lead better than their leaders, and yet, they don’t even know how to set expectations. I know I didn’t.
You think you are ready to lead?
Here are five (5) things to think about.
- Show me you think other people first.
- Genuinely placing others first is about service.
- Your bias is to make decisions based on the benefit of everyone not yourself.
- Show me you are continuously learning
- You grow and get better because you want to lead others to a better place based on what they need not what you want.
- Once you stop growing, you stop leading.
- Show me you can hold yourself accountable.
- This is taking responsibility for your role in everything whether someone is tracking you or not.
- This also includes, at certain times, doing things that you may consider ‘not your job’.
- Show me you are willing to pay the price to do the right thing.
- This is not about being “right” or “wrong” but about having the courage to make the right decision whether it is popular or not.
- Many people fight for “being right” but they won’t for the right decision.
- Show me others voluntarily seek your opinion on business and personal matters.
- This is a sign others are trusting your opinion on aspects beyond your technical expertise.
- It also shows your influence extends beyond the power that comes with the position you hold.
Where does your title, expertise, degree, or performance fall into the items above?
Leadership is a privilege not something we are entitled to. I should not have been ‘leading’ in 2007.