Here are 7 signs you are ready to lead. While these seven areas or indicators are not comprehensive and not the only things one should look for, they have proven to be of value many times over my career.
7 signs you are ready to lead:
1. You are doing it already
People come to you for guidance; you take initiative; you are proactive; you take on stretch assignments beyond comfort and responsibilities.
2. You ask questions, lots of them.
3. You bring forward ideas and solutions, not only problems and complaints.
4. You protect your colleagues and you don’t shy away from risks.
5. You approach challenges with desired state in mind first.
6. You are cool, calm and collected. You don’t panic over little things.
7. You are self-motivated and are driven by purpose.
What else would you like to include on this list?
Pursuit of perfection is futile. Focus on incremental yet relentless growth, advancement and progress.
It is on us to own our lives, our careers and take an active role in improving them, taking care of our families, friends and communities. Cavalry isn’t coming. Own your life, before someone else does.
I have said this before and I will say it again: leadership is not a popularity contest. Leaders work for people they are entrusted with and work every day to solve problems and challenges of their organizations, their industries, regions or nations. Leadership is about getting things done and creating a better environment for all in a collaborative, professional and respectful manner, it is not about being liked.
Is pandemic impacting your business? How about other things? While the past year has been challenging for us all to varying degrees, it is important to acknowledge that other areas and decisions have impacted businesses and organizations. In many cases, decisions about how to lead, invest, train, market, modernize…and so on have been made for years even though they may have only started to come to light this year.
Think about all decisions, positions, leadership and be honest with yourself and your colleagues if you truly want to grow, improve and succeed.
Every once in a while, do yourself (and those around you) a favor and take a break from social media and other things (and people) who induce stress, unrest, uneasiness and polarizing points of view. Removing content that is centered on anger, fear, hate and blame will do you good and will help you rebalance your priorities and focus on what truly matters for your happiness and success.
As leaders, making decisions and taking actions fall among many responsibilities we are tasked with. However, creating the environment where all members of your team are treated with respect, support and are included in the process is of equal importance.
Balancing empathy and understanding with decisions and actions is important and here’s what I think about it.
Podcast: “The long game” with Milos Topic – Episode 3 with Sharon Pitt, Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer (CIO) at University of Delaware shares her thoughts, ideas and experiences on building inclusive and diverse teams, nudging organizational culture in the desired direction and much more.
Sharon’s question for the audience:
► How are you doing work-life balance while working from home?
Leaders don’t care about being right. They care about doing the right thing and arriving to the desired destination with expected outcomes. It is about doing what teams need to advance, grow and improve, not about them having the final say.
Path to happiness is not always upward. Know yourself, be honest with yourself and then act accordingly in your life and career.
Personal growth, advancement and improvement is not always upward bound for everyone as not everyone will want to take on additional responsibilities and changes that come with that decision. When in doubt, air on the side of true self.