“Am I a Leader?”
One of the first questions my coaching clients ask me is: “Am I a leader?” My answer is a question: “When you turnaround, is anyone there willingly?” The crucial word is willingly. Leadership is not about position and title. The title of leader is earned and bestowed by others – your direct reports, colleagues, teammates, and stakeholders. I’ve known managers in the bowels of an organization who are considered leaders, while the President at the top is deemed a farce.
“Have you noticed if people ‘love to’ work for you or ‘have to’ work for you?” is another question which sparks self-awareness and self-reflection. When people love working for you there is high energy, high trust, an uplifting whatever it takes commitment to getting the work done with lots of creativity and teamwork. If there is little trust, low energy, lots of “it’s not my job” attitudes and people throwing each other under the bus; it’s time to change your choices and actions. You get what you model.
In the midst of these disorienting times, we need to be the hope, the future and the leaders we are meant to be. Now is the time to take 100% ownership for our actions and our game to warrant cheering fans and followers. My latest book, Women, Adjust Your Jockstrap, can help you do both with my hard-earned wisdom as an original badass.
Before bestowing the title of leader on an individual, willing followers and fans subconsciously ask themselves these three questions:
“Can I trust you?”
“Do you care about me?”
“Can we make a difference?”
“Can I trust you?” refers to your credibility. Every single choice and action we take either builds or destroys trust. Everything communicates. There are no neutral actions.
“Do you care about me?” Leaders demonstrate compassion and a genuine concern for the welfare of others, both personally and professionally. A leader knows and understands each individual’s needs and aspirations, and then takes action on them.
“Can we make a difference?” Everyone wants to make a difference, to be a part of something greater than ourselves. The inspired leader moves a group of people to a collective identity with a sense of shared values and clarity of purpose. The leader instills community by being inclusive. The leader involves all, not just a few.
Are you a leader? Begin observing the reactions others have to you. You are receiving feedback 24/7. Do people smile or grimace when you approach? When you speak, do people listen?
When you turnaround, is anyone there willingly?
The choice is ours.
We reap what we sow.