being a leader

I used to think being a leader meant that you had to be picked. That you had to be elected. Or nominated. Or chosen.

Being a leader meant you had to have a special title. You had to be the President, or VP, or Director, or Head of ‘insert committee here’ or group.

I used to think being a leader meant that you had been anointed by others to be able to make decisions, speak up, and be at the forefront.

I now know that all of the above is untrue.

Anyone can be a leader.

Doesn’t matter your age, your race, your sex, your title, your status. If you want to be a leader, all you need to do is lead.

How does one lead?

A. Check your ego at the door. Don’t think that you know it all. Don’t be the smartest person. Don’t stop asking questions. Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about elevating others.

B. Listen. Opening yourself and listening to understand those around you provides context for what motivates each individual. When you understand a person’s motivation you can help achieve the goal.

C. If you want the trust of others or to influence others, then you need to give them trust and allow yourself to be influenced.

D. Say Do. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. Don’t just talk, but deliver on your words.

E. Communicate. Make sure you share openly and frequently. Share in the style and format that is preferred by those you’re leading.

F. Welcome conflict. When one is a leader not everyone is going to agree, or like, or appreciate your decisions. That’s okay. Don’t run away, block, ignore, or try to deflect the conflict. Address it head on.

The above may not be the best set of how people should lead. It’s my framework. A set of guides that I use based on my life, my reading, and how I was raised.

Lastly, leadership is built, one relationship at a time.

Leadership is built at the N of 1.

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