Everyone wants to be in charge. Being the leader seems to be a universal goal of most people working today.
Do you really want the job, or just the title and benefits?
A leadership position requires the use of many abilities and skills which most of us do not have, or do not have fully developed. It requires sacrifice and discipline. A leaders life is filled with decisions that are not black and white.
It’s all about people, motivating, directing, and evaluating, listening and learning with them.
A leader is often lonely, but never alone. Highly criticized and analyzed by their own team and by outsiders. Must be flexible and adaptable, and at the same time firm and unwilling to compromise.
Are you ready for the job?
Guide vs. Signpost. Do you enjoying pointing people in the right direction, telling them where to go? This is not leadership. A signpost points the way, offers no resources or plan and no strategies on how to get there.
Leading others is far different from pointing the way. Leaders take responsibility for everything that happens during the journey, they prepare strategic and contingency plans, provide resources, and keep their people motivated and on the right road.
Teaching vs. Criticism. Able to see the flaws in others, their work and their results? The ability to find flaws is important only if you use these opportunities to teach others how to prevent or improve their performance or results. Pointing out flaws and errors for any other reason is not part of the leadership function.
Coaching vs. supervision. Telling others exactly what to do, and how to do it, is part of a supervisory role, not a leadership position. Leaders are coaches, they convince others to create and embrace goals and objectives, and to use approved systems and methods in order to achieve them.
Fair compensation vs. jackpot rewards. Do you think leaders and managers make a lot of money for doing nothing? Leadership demands personal responsibility and acceptance of risk. No one gets into a leadership position without sacrifice of some sort. These qualities are paid for and compensated with higher salaries and often perks and privileges different from the other members of the organization. It is compensation well earned, and the entire organization should understand this. It should never be looked upon as a jackpot, or undeserved compensation. If the organization does not view it this way, it’s time to modify the compensation packages or get a leader in place that leads and earns the respect and support of the others organization members.
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