Most of us are intimidated by the word leadership. The thought of being a “leader” isn’t even in the realm of possibility. What if I told you leadership is not as scary as you think? What if I was able to squander the fearing stigma leadership is associated with? If I can do that would you step up and become the leader you were meant to be?
This list contains material I have learned through personal experience as well as what I learned from books. I hope you can relate but most of all I hope this helps you take action!
1. Lead By Example Not Position
I need to give credit where it is due. This first tip is huge and I learned a lot about it from John Maxwell. In the “5 Levels of Leadership”, John talks about the the first step on the climb to the Pinnacle level of leadership. Position, which is a great place to start in my opinion. This means you had influenced your team and your leadership to take on more responsibility!
As John says throughout the first chapter, you need to get from level 1 to level 2 quickly by creating relationships. The best way is to lead them by example. I had the opportunity to become a manager at a very young age. With my personality I was a natural positive influence to others and I was not afraid to work hard . I would always do the hard jobs. Naturally over time I started to help others do them so they could have the same opportunity to climb the corporate ladder as me!
Eventually I trained multiple colleagues to do the same jobs as me. I could have looked at this from a threatened stand point for my job. Or I was able to enjoy the work others were doing because of my influence. Your goal it to influence your way up by enabling and empowering others to move up with you.
2. Creating Results Not Excuses
During your next team meeting are you going to give the same old excuse as to why your numbers were under company standards? The competition has a better price point, or they have a better product, people are just not buying right now. I have given them all, believe me if you provide the right solution, people will buy!
How do you overcome the habit of creating excuses? You start creating results, you are probably thinking “”wow what a genius, I already knew that, but how do I create results?” Grab a pen and paper this is important. Get educated. That is the secret to creating results. You need to study and learn about the following, your products, your client base, their pain points, your territory, how to sell, how to have a business conversation, how to qualify the business, size and complexity. Once you understand all of these and a few other things is when you will start creating the results you need to become a leader.
3. Help Correct Mistakes Rather Than Reject Them
Learn to pass responsibility to others. Give them important projects but expect some road bumps. Your job as a leader is to create an environment where problems exist but are unable to influence your team. Touch base with them on their mistakes to see why they did it that way. Always encourage their mistakes and if they need help have the answers to fix it. There is only one thing worse than telling someone they did a terrible job. Which is to miss an opportunity to help them learn and grow from their mistake.
4. Creating The Right Environment For Leadership
I briefly mentioned this in the third tip. The environment you create for your team will impact a lot of things. How to you create the best environment to harvest all the success potential your team brings? You need to create a positive place for them to come to. This means keeping negative experiences / people out. Provide the things they need to do their best some great ideas would be: a coffee bar with free breakfast / lunch snacks, self development books or success material, goals or a mission statement that they can read from anywhere in the room, even posting an incentive that the team can fight for. Create a perfect environment and you will increase productivity and moral among your team!
5. Developing People To Lead
The worlds most selfish act is stunting the growth of a natural leader because you fear for your position. You see this happen all the time in the business world. If you create and develop leaders with care and candor you will have infinite opportunities. The hardest question is who do you focus on to train and develop. Utilize the 80/20 rule. Focus 80% of your time on the top 20% of your team. Look to them for their thoughts on big decisions and make them feel important. Your greatest investment as a leader is in developing other leaders to carry out your vision long after your are gone.
Leadership can be scary at first but knowing a few basics should help decrease your fear factor. Are you able to lead? I cannot answer that for you but neither can you unless you try it! The best leaders are the most quit, goofy, weird, shy, expressive and positive people. Put others first and help them achieve great things and in turn you will become great!