You Are Not a Leader Until Someone is Choosing To Follow You…
I know that is extremely direct, but never the less, it’s true.
This is an especially important thing to understand if you are: 1. Recently promoted into a supervisory or managerial position 2. Have performed your way to a point of recognition that relates to a rank or status 3. Have volunteered to head up a committee or project 4. Any other way you can think of in which you have some designation that indicates you are in charge, or have more experience, or more education, or have achieved a higher level of success, or any thing else you/I didn’t think of.
Position is NOT leadership. Title, status, level of income…No No No.
Leadership of the truest and purest form means that people follow you because they want to. Period.
Most of What Got You to Leadership Won’t Translate to Leading…
In the typical scenario, you get promoted or achieve a recognition level (depending on the business model) based on your personal production in the work. A strong work ethic is admirable, and does translate into leadership, in that you will work at least as hard, and probably harder to become an effective leader.
However, what you work ON and WITH is entirely different. Now, instead of using your proficiency in the work to achieve a result, you are responsible for achievement based on the production of others. If the people in your charge are only doing what they “have to do” then you are not going to do very well in reaching goals. You are going to need people to want to work for you and with you.
This requires an entirely new set of skills that you most likely do not have yet. In fact, the true skills to lead extremely well, or what I call leadership competencies, are extensions of an entirely other set of interpersonal and productivity skills that most people in general only have a fraction of too!
How do I know this? Because almost no one has these skills when they get into business because they are NOT TAUGHT as requirements in the educational system. And if you do happen to take a course or two, that doesn’t give you the skills, that gives you a faded memory of some things that could be helpful…if practiced over and over, and refined over and over.
I know this truth because I teach these skills to corporations, because they are missing, and because they are essential to be your highest productive self, especially when engaging people.
It Needs to Start With Your Mindset…
A lot of folks think that the higher you go in the leadership pyramid, the more people will be at your beckon call to serve you. In one sense this is true, but it’s the WRONG perspective in to work from.
Yes, there are more people that answer to you and you can call on them to do what they have to do in relation to the work. But, and be very clear on this…they are NOT there to serve you. YOU are there to SERVE THEM. When you have the heart of a servant and the mindset of serving the people who are doing the work, you can create a powerful community of people who are grateful to be in your organization and happy to go the extra mile.
Your mindset of a servant needs to be coupled with the humility of someone who doesn’t really know how to lead properly yet. This is a tough one for some, because they see it the opposite way….”I’m the chief now, the all-knowing!” Wrongo!!!
If you will operate with humility, and honesty, while doing the best you can to help your people, you can demonstrate the character that people would want to follow, while you develop the skills. In other words you can grow into it.
So if you are a new leader, start there. The video below talks a bit deeper about what to work on, and the “3 Circles Living” book will help you with some transferrable platform skills as well. Then you can seek out how to go to the next level.
If you have the heart and you’re willing to work on yourself and love your people and serve them, you can become a great leader from any starting point.
Was this helpful for you? Please let me know in the comments below and feel free to share with your team or on Social Media.
P.S. 3 Circles Living is now available in kindle as well!!!
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