In a book that I was a featured contributor in, Harness the Power, pg 51, I make the comment regarding the confidence that I feel is required in a true leader. I mention that confidence, that swagger is real. It is not a fable. IT IS NOT FALSE BRAVADO EITHER.
How many of you have experienced working with a true leader? A person who, if they called you right now, you would consider leaving your current job and going to work with them. Many times, you would do so regardless of the challenge. When you have experienced working in a condition like this, it is very difficult to work any other way.
I have pontificated about the differences in management and leadership previously. This is one of the most tangible differences. Leadership speaks to your ability to demand the best. That demand must not be made without proving that you are giving your best AND that your best is pretty damn good. What I mean by that is that while you may not be the best widget maker, you better have some unique skills or abilities that help the widget making team elevate to being the best widget making team. There are a few tactics that I have noticed great leaders seem to employ:
- They demand the best out of everyone on the team but most importantly of themselves.
- Their passion is the success of the team which is not ONLY marked by business goals. Sometimes in the course of a project a team member will have personal issues. Believe it or not, work is not your life. Showing that you, as a leader, understand that and support your team in doing the most important things first (like taking care of themselves or their families) you will garner the support and allegiance of not only that person but of everyone else who is witness to the focus.
- They realize that there is no such thing as a job too big OR a job too small. If you are asked to do something or if something needs to be done and the management team is not willing to assist, they better be doing something else that ONLY THEY CAN DO. When the water is rising and sand bags need to be filled, I don’t give a shit what your paygrade or title is – start filling sandbags. That being said, if there is a plan that is more strategic and you have enough folks working on the tactical (filling of sandbags) then the proper use of the leader’s time may be working on the larger plan. Be cognizant of this difference and NEVER let your title or leadership position take you out of the weeds simply due to its presence.
There is much more to this that we will talk about but I wanted to bring this topic up and hear from you about some of the leaders you admire. They can be at work, at school, on your sports teams at church or almost anywhere. Leadership simply is even though you most often only recognize it when it is absent.
The thing that allows those leaders in all walks of life to assert themselves is confidence. Confidence is not a bad word, nor is the necessary and requisite level of ego that comes along with it. Without that ‘boost’ teams, schools, congregations and other collectives would simply drift like a ship without a captain.
Ever been on one of them? Why didn’t you step up? That is the fun stuff to talk about.
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