People follow you because have to!
A leader position is usually given to people because they have leadership potential.
Most of the time when people enter a leadership position they do so because someone has granted authority to do so. The best leaders promote people into leadership based upon leadership potential and nothing else.
A leadership position means authority is recognized.
Some sort of power and authority come with leadership. At this early stage authority is limited and that is OK. Potential leaders need to prove themselves with a little before much is given. In 1954 in the Infantryman’s Journal there is a great quote: “No man is a leader until his appointment is ratified in the minds ad hearts of his men.”
A leadership position is an invitation to grow as a leader.
There should always be a relationship between receiving a leadership position and fulfilling the requirements demanded by it. Often when asked what is the one thing you would change in this company, most people respond by suggesting – policies, pricing, procedures, process, and people. Rarely will anyone suggest they are what should change to improve this company. Good leaders are always good learners. If you are a leader, you should accept this an invitation to grow. If you commit to becoming a life learner you will greatly increase your influence and you potential.
A leadership position allows potential leaders to shape and define their leadership.
Once you have accepted a leadership potential you get to decide what kind of leader you want to become. Understand that leadership is much less about what you do and more about who your are – Fransis Hesselbein.
Who am I?
Good leadership begins with leaders taking the time to know who they are. In the book, It’s Your Ship, the author Captain Mike Abrashoff states that hard experiences teach you that real leadership is about understanding yourself first then using that to create a superb organization. Successful leaders work hard to know themselves.
Knowing yourself is not an easy or short process. Some of it is not particularly fun. But it is necessary if you want to become a better leader. Self knowledge is foundational to effective leading.
What are my values?
Your values are the soul of your leadership, and they drive your behavior! With so many devastating illustrations in banking and politics you have come to see that a bad value system affects more people than yourself.
What leadership practices do I want to put in place?
Herb Keller former CEO of Southwest Airlines talks about his early leadership lessons. He stated that he learned the greatest lessons when he was a trail lawyer. He observed two of the best attorney’s in San Antonio. Both were polar opposites in terms of style, One was quiet and the other was a hell raiser in the court room. He learned that people with different personalities, different approaches, different values can succeed not because one set of values or practices are superior, but because their values and practices are genuine.
To be an effective leader you must not only know yourself and define your values. You must also live them out.
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