Are You The Leader The Team You Are Looking To Lead Is Looking To Follow

by | Jan 30, 2013

This post was updated on May 7th 2013 for Frontline Festival that appears on www.letsgrowleaders.com.

One day, after making the biggest leadership mistake of my career, I was seriously considering quitting my job..  I lied to one of my team members to manipulate a situation into an outcome I wanted.  And, my lie and I were exposed for all to see.

I tried to justify it by saying I had tried everything else with this person to get them to change.  I had talked at length with them, gave them one opportunity after another, but nothing was working.  They had left me no choice.

WOW, I still can’t believe I was that arrogant.  I thought since I was the boss, somehow that gave me the right to lie to another human being to get them to do what I wanted them to.  That’s pride, and that’s the biggest leadership mistake I ever made.

My thoughts were full of doubt. I kept thinking things like,

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • “Who am I kidding? I’m no leader.”
  • “I’m not smart enough to be a leader, I didn’t even go to college.”
  • “I’m a joke.”
  • “It’s just a matter of time before people realize I can’t do this.”
  • “I wouldn’t want to follow me!!!”
  • “I’m not even the leader the team I’m looking to lead is looking to follow.”

I decided I needed to learn and grow and so I set myself on a course of personal development that has forever impacted my leadership.

I’ve studied and continue to study my leadership with a magnifying glass.

Leading people is messy because leadership is personal.  I’ve had to get personal about my leadership.  I’m leading human beings, not an organization.

I decided my leadership needed surgery, not just a bandaid.

  • I started reading lots of books and blogs on leadership.
  • I listen to podcast about leadership.
  • I talk with successful leaders.
  • I journal about what kind of leader I wanted to be.
  • I pray and imagine what kind of leader God is dreaming for me to be.
  • ?? (what do you do)

Every morning I have to recommit myself to be a better leader today than yesterday.

The biggest paradigm shift that changed me as a leader. Was realizing that I wouldn’t want to follow me.  I had to become the leader I wanted follow before asking others to follow me.

What about you?  Would you follow you?  Are you trustworthy?  Do you really want whats best for your team?  Are you in it for them?  Do you let your team get to know you?  Would you want your kids to grow up and work for you?

Would you follow you? (Tweet that, that’s twitter gold)

How do you work on your leadership?