If leadership were easy, everyone would be doing it. And while everyone CAN lead, those who lead WELL have done something others are not willing to do: they got out of their own way. It’s tricky, but invaluable and here are four areas that will hold you back every time if you’ve not overcome your own barriers or beliefs when it comes to leading others and the power of that position.
The leaders you admire, who inspire and guide, are those who’ve lead themselves well and perhaps even share that experience, but in a way that focuses on the needs and growth of others. They are comfortable in their own skin and have little need to get credit for the efforts of others, but would rather sit in the audience cheering the loudest as their team member receives the award on stage. Do you need to get credit for what they do or do you relish the opportunity to watch those employees shine?
There is a case for being “good enough” and when applied to tasks, it is true that the effort to go from 95% percent perfect to 100% is more than what it took to reach the 95% stage. The leaders who’ve gotten out of their own way in this area have let go of the need to have everything be perfect for perfect’s sake. They are clear on which “hill are worth dying on” and which battles are worth choosing. They have also recognized the value in purposely pursuing imperfect and allowing others to make mistakes for the sake of learning how to do it better next time.
Many believe that in order for the team to succeed, they must all get along. Psychologists call this “group think” and when there’s no conflict, no differences in the ideas and priorities, creativity dies. It is okay for team members to not always get along and even better if they don’t always agree, but disagree with a sense of respect and excitement for what news ideas may arise from the differences of opinion. Have you assessed the different personalities of the team you lead? The more you know about just how different they are, the more you can put their unique gifts and talents to use and help them understand each other.
Everyone who does well in their role is not vying for a spot at the next level. Experienced leaders know that the promotion of the top salesperson is a nearly constant recipe for failure. Not all wish to get ahead in the same way you might and it’s okay to continue to challenge those who are perfectly happy staying right where they are. Do you penalize those who don’t want a promotion or challenge them right where they are?
Leadership is a word that gets tossed around in many directions. It is something we seem to feel rather than see, assume to be natural versus learned, and frequently fail to development assuming its available to only a few. If you struggle with leadership, look at the leading of you first. Get out of your own way or head with the beliefs that are holding you back and seek out development of those leadership skills needed by those you lead. Not sure where to start? This is one my specialties and I’ll be happy to talk through some solutions. Give me a call at 1-866-382-0121.