An open letter to all who are thinking about being a leader, are about to be a leader, or are already been given the responsibility of a leader and are trying to figure out how the heck it all works:
Dear Prospective, Pending, or Current Leader:
I understand you are trying to be a leader. First off, that’s fantastic – leadership is a great calling that can bring you great success and satisfaction on so many levels, both personally and professionally.
But before you take that step, there’s some vital preparation I want you to do – let’s call it some homework. Do you have what it takes to be a leader? I want you to go through this list and mentally “check off” that you are ready (or will do the work to get ready) to do these things as a leader.
I realize that time is always of the essence and feeling 100% ready is impossible, but if you can at least start the process of thinking about and absorbing these preparations, even after jumping into the leadership pool, I guarantee you will be a better, and a more human, leader, with an excellent chance to get to what I call the “trifecta”: a successful business, a happy team, and a fulfilled YOU.
And I can tell you from my own experience that the trifecta is a mighty fine thing to achieve. So let’s go for it.
Here’s your list, and lead well my friend!
Are you prepared to….
- Articulate and write down WHY you want to lead (otherwise you will not be able to lead effectively)?
- Get off your pedestal, roll up your sleeves and set an example if need be?
- Always keep a positive demeanor (even though you may not feel positive at the time), because you’ll be the beacon that your team follows?
- Shut your brain down and really listen?
- Use the full spectrum of accountability, in a fair and impartial way?
- Take constructive advice and critique from a mentor?
- Be transparent & honest, and keep promises?
- Trust without micro-managing, and let them fail without creating a poisoned atmosphere of fear?
- Have empathy & compassion, showing respect and appreciation for the people you are leading, AND the jobs that they do?
- Be a teacher as well as a manager?
- Execute strategy or tactics that you don’t necessarily agree with personally?
- Spend time digging in to meaningful metrics and numbers to properly track the team’s progress?
- Keep an open mind because many times the only constant will be change?
- Invest the time to get the facts instead of relying on hearsay and half-baked research?
- Make an emotional connection to your leadership, your cause, and helping your team to job satisfaction and joy?