Leadership Starts With You!

Do you put yourself forward for a position or wait for your name to be called? Do you volunteer to lead the team or sit quietly within the ranks?

(Image courtesy of Dollar Photo Club)

Most of us will shy away from taking the lead while we remain vocal about the unsatisfactory nature of the status quo.

You don’t lead by pointing [fingers] and telling people someplace to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case. ~ Ken Kessey

My friend Alan had been telling me how uninspiring his team leader was and he now wants my advice on whether he should apply for a vacant leadership position in another department.

“So what should I do.” Alan asked.

“What do you mean by that question?” I replied.

“Should I apply for the position?” Alan asked.

“It’s entirely up to you.” I replied.

Yes, it’s up to you. You will need to decide if you are going to remain in your present position and continue moaning about the shortcomings of other people or step up and lead the way. Lead your own team and show others how it is done.

Let Me Help You Step Forward

Let me give you three keys that will increase your confidence and help you step forward and take a leadership role when the next opportunity arises.

#1. It’s not always the best person that leads.

The leader is not necessarily the best-skilled for the position. This is why most people feel that they can do better than their leader. That is true except that you have refused to step forward and lead! The leader is the person who has stepped forward to take the team, the department and the organisation to a new place.

#2. You don’t need to have all the answers.

You may have heard it said that the answer is in the room. If you don’t, someone on your team has the solution. You only have to be humble enough to listen to what others have to say and then decide on and implement what you consider to be the most appropriate solution. You learn from your mistakes as you go along. This will build your confidence and strengthen your resolve to do better next time. Leaders are learners. Leaders are readers.

#3. You do have to be available

You will need to have the time and energy to devote to your new position. Now that you are there, it’s time to get on with the job. You may start without any skills but you will need to make yourself available to learn the skills that will help you succeed. You will need to make the time and put in the effort to learn and grow in your new role. Now that you are in charge, there is no one else to get the job done but you.

If not you, then who?

Now that you are in charge, it’s your responsibility to fix it if it’s broken. And if it’s not broken, it’s your job to take the organisation forward and make it relevant and responsive to the fast-changing world that we all live in.

So when next an opportunity for advancement opens, even though you think you are not the best person for the job or that you do not have all the answers, make yourself available – say Yes to the role and take another step on your leadership journey.

What leadership position is open to you right now? If not you, then who?