Most of us crave leadership, we want to be looked upon as an expert and someone that others look up to. But what does it take? You don’t wake up one morning and say “I am going to lead today!” Honestly, it really isn’t your decision at all, regardless of your job title. A leader is chosen, by peers, colleagues and those that report to her/him. I was listening to the podcast Entre Leadership last week and Dave Ramsey made a great point about leaders (if you could get past all of his yelling). He said “someone is always watching.” A bit creepy, yes, but the fact is that it isn’t just what you do when people are watching, it is also what we do when no one is looking that defines you as a leader. And lets be clear, someone is always watching. We live in the technology age, someone is always there to capture a screw-up or misstep especially if you are in a leadership position and you can’t compartmentalize leadership.
You don’t get to choose when you want to lead. There are days I wake up and I just don’t want to adult but the best leaders lead by example and that means you show staff what you expect from them by your actions. I don’t believe there are any set characteristics that make up a great leader, not one person is the same. I do believe that you aren’t afraid to learn from those you hire, acknowledge failure and get out of the way of those you lead.
What does being a leader mean to you?