Leadership isn’t a new concept. There is a bountiful amount of books, blogs, podcasts, articles, and any form of media you can think of. And yet we continue to scour through all of this material searching deep and wide for a magic fix or how to become a better leader. Or maybe for some of us its better stated we are looking for followers. We long for the thought of influencing others, having them look up to us, and get the acclaim that comes with success. This longing for followers may come from the greatest intentions. But if these intentions go unchecked three main lies will creep in and distort things.
The first lie is that leading is all about you.
You have power or influence over people and may think that whatever is being done or needs to do rests solely on you. You are the important cog in the wheel. Everyone needs to read your mind, submit to what you say, and get whatever you want done, done.
The second lie is that leading is all about winning.
Why play the game if you can’t win, right? What is the reason for being in charge just to be mediocre or get by? Corporate America has ingrained in us that everything is about winning. I am very competitive and yes, winning is very important to me.
The third lie is that all the credit belongs to you as a leader and all of the blame is the fault of those under you.
After all it was you who laid out the plan and gave the direction but when things went wrong you weren’t the one who executed the plan and failed to produce a favorable outcome.
Leadership ISN’T about you. Leadership ISN’T about always winning. Leadership ISN’T about taking credit and passing blame.
Those you lead are more important than you are because they are a result of you. If you don’t put the time and effort into developing and investing in others, that will be a poor reflection of you as a leader because you failed to lead. Develop a strong co-dependent team who thrives in a healthy environment that has been nurtured and that will reflect on you well, because you chose to lead and lead well.
While winning and success is important it isn’t everything. You should strive to do your best in all that you do. But you shouldn’t wager your success against your character. Cutting corners, demeaning others and fudging the lines is not how a leader acts. It goes against the character you should be striving to have.
And when you do win, it’s because of those you lead. You may have had a hand in developing a plan and even developing the people to be successful but it’s because of them that you as a team succeeded. And when your team fails, guess what? It’s because of you. It is a truth pill often hard to swallow. If you were leading at your best and developing those around you, the likelihood of success increases greatly. However, there WILL be times when you lead well, are developing those under you very well, and still lose. The truth is, that’s ok! It happens. But if you lead well it will be the exception, not the rule.
The biggest secret about leadership no one tells you about? It’s not about you!
In case you missed any of the #BTPLeadership series, click HERE to see what you’ve missed!