A lot of leaders who have climbed to the top think they’ve made it.
They believe the journey is over. But the reality is that they haven’t “made it”. Their position is, in the simplest terms, recognition that someone thought they were qualified to lead.
In many cases, someone is a star performer with incredible technical skills. Then they get promoted into a leadership role. And then they flounder as a leader, because they’ve never led before.
It’s a common pitfall to walk into a new role without the understanding that leaders can never stop learning. Authentic leaders recognize their responsibility to lead and continue to seek out how to continue to improve and be an even better leader. They lead themselves well first.
Authentic leaders are leaders who:
• Have a calm consistency in how they conduct themselves and lead their teams. They create consistent and predictable results.
• Create clear accountability for the work that is done.
• Have a positive influence with just about everyone they interact with, especially with their team. They respect and trust others as they are respected and trusted by others.
• Have strong working relationships with their teams, peers, and other leaders and are intentional about their personal relationships with individuals on their team.
One of the most powerful sentences a leader can say is “I need help.”
Many leaders are afraid to ask for help because they feel like it makes them look weak. In actuality, it increases their credibility and influence. The most effective leaders are courageous enough to ask for help.
I often remind the leaders I work with that if they didn’t need help, they wouldn’t have a team. Everyone on their teams is there to help them accomplish what they’re responsible for – for the good of their organizations. I ask them to recognize that they are already getting help from their team. And then continue asking for more.
Time and time again once a leader breaks through and recognizes they really do need help and are brave enough to ask for it, they move up to a new level. Not only has their mindset shifted, people now see them differently and they start treating them with more respect and trust.
Sometimes the most effective way to lead is when you choose to follow and let someone else take the lead.
Don’t let your ego take over with “people need to know I’m the leader.” Authentic leaders understand, it’s rarely ever all about them. It’s almost always about the people on their teams.