Just like you, I take leadership seriously. For me, leadership has meant being the person in charge, the person with the title, the one who oversees getting the work completed. We know as leaders we need teamwork to make the dream work and trusting the team members to make good decisions is an important part of that. The team’s attitude and quality of work is a reflection on their leader and so many times over the years, I wanted to fix the other person on my team first. If they would just stop doing this or that we’d have a great team. If they were more productive, less gossipy, more customer focused. I am sure you have done this too.
But, as I have grown in my leadership roles, I discovered that I must lead one person better than I lead anyone else on my team. Myself. If I wanted my team members to be better, I needed to be better.
When I was reading The Leadership Challenge, by Posner and Kouzes the research confirmed that the best leaders are proactive and look for personal opportunities and challenges to grow as a leader. As the leader you’re always setting an example for those you lead, the only question is, is it a good one or a bad one?
I knew I had to be the first person to change. I had to take responsibility for my team’s actions, good or bad. I didn’t like that. But it forced me to get better first. It allowed me to think about the ways I might change so that my teammates would get better. My mindset shifted to how can I make this person successful? How can I help them become one of the best of the best?
I have discovered that taking leadership seriously means taking the responsibility to change first and then lead the team through change. The easiest thing is to do nothing, to be passive and hope the other person changes, and that is not leadership.
By cultivating the greatness inside of you first, you open the door for your team to follow. That is leadership.
Continue to grow your greatness,