In many ways I’ve come to realize that leadership works the same way. Here is what I mean...
Think about your first managerial job for a minute; were you mentored into what leadership really meant and how you were to use and exercise the authority you were given? Or were you simply given a key, the alarm code, the combination to the safe and a new set of instructions and procedures to follow? In other words, were you simply expected to just naturally know how to be a good leader? I was!
Leadership is Bestowed
Yet, leadership is not easy, nor is it natural...regardless of what we may think. During the Oprah show I mentioned earlier, the men essentially said that they missed out on someone showing them what it meant to be a man; what being a man looks like, sounds like and feels like. In my life I’ve discovered that masculinity is really bestowed from one to another; from one generation to the next.
Leadership is bestowed in the same way-from one person to another. When I see a passive, obnoxious or any other type of ineffective leader, I know there is a good possibility that they have not been “led into leadership”- they haven't been shown what it looks like and/or means to be a leader. This is where you come into the picture!
Are You Someone to Follow...or Run Away From?
The first thing you can do to create a leadership culture is to be a good leader yourself. This is the “gut check” time when you want to ask yourself, “Am I someone that others would want to follow?” “Am I a good example of a leader to the people I lead?” If the answer is “no” it’s not too late to get started! In the weeks ahead I’ll mention things that you can do to build your leadership muscles both within you and with the people around you.
If you believe that you are a good example of a leader, then I want to challenge you to bring an army of leaders behind you-and watch the difference it will make in your company!
The Journey Continues
Please stay tuned and keep reading in the upcoming weeks as I share more ideas that I’ve learned from experience and from the great leaders and mentors I’ve been blessed with in my life. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your leadership stories!
What leader has inspired you in your life and career?
Read the rest of this Leadership Series!
Part Three-Eagle Scout
Part Four-Passing the Torch