Have you ever asked yourself “Is being a leader really for me, is it worth the time and effort I put in?”. You shouldn’t be surprised to hear that many leaders ask themselves this question.
The list of pros and cons for leaders can be very personal some pros might include: responsibility, interesting/innovative work, learning, power, money. Likewise common cons are it’s your head on the chopping block, lack of personal time, isolation both professionally and personally.
Most often people get really good at what they do, they get noticed and suddenly they are promoted and they end up with leadership responsibilities. Little thought is given to what it means to be a leader. They set sail uncertain to the calm and rough seas ahead. Even seasoned leaders can be set adrift “Just trying to get through each day, the best I can” which leads them to address their leadership style for what is needed now.
When at sail for too long without land in sight, you begin to feel frustrated, conflicted and even unhappy. This has the side effect of draining your energy, vision and your enthusiasm; the vital components for being an effective leader. You begin to lead by rote which is not only destructive to you, it will also affect your team who will sense you are adrift. The knock on effect of this to your team is decreased energy and enthusiasm of those around you, reducing performance and innovation, where you and your team become a drag on vital resources.
So are you ready to take the next step? Are you ready to hit dry land?
Firstly, climb up to the crows nest, take a look around what’s happening around you. Is there a competitor bring disruptive? Does a new boss or client expect something different? Is there a wider economic issue providing pressure? Do you have more work to complete and no more resources to do it with? Essentially what are the current demands that will directly affect the way you want to lead?
Secondly, remember why you want to captain the ship. Was it your choice to be a leader or did someone else choose you? How comfortable are you being a leader? What do you want to achieve as a leader? What are your core values? What is your crystal clear leadership vision?
Thirdly, what does your flag say about you? Your brand begins with your strengths and development needs, it also includes the tools in your toolbox that you can draw on as a leader. What skills, leadership roles, and experience you have that all build a profile of the type of leader you are. Knowing this information about yourself will allow you to understand how to get to dry land. Look for roles that will utilise your strengths or add to your portfolio of experience. Understanding your brand will allow you to respond to change, collaborate effectively and highlight why you feel stuck.
Finally, does X really mark the spot? Does your current reality match your leadership brand? Are the core values you live by compatible with the organisation you are in? Ask yourself if I was leading in a completely authentic way, what would my leadership behaviour look like? What would I do in this current situation?
Spend 2 minutes writing down everything that comes to mind no need to overthink it. What do your answers tell you about your cost of leadership? Do the benefits outweigh the costs? If not, how will you reduce those costs and become more effective?
Start making more conscious choices about why, when, where, and how you lead. The skills required to understand how to make these clear choices helps you become a more effective leader and a more successful person.
Are you ready to find dry land?
- Book an appointment to talk to me (if you’d like to, you can find my diary here)
- We have a chat for up to 30 minutes.
- If appropriate, I will send you more information on what I do, how and why.
- We talk again to see whether we are a good fit for each other.
- If we are, we decide the best approach to take and you are on your way to a more successful business
Take action today!