We live in a world that is becoming less and less acountable and placing more and more situational blame. It is now easier than ever to say things without consequence and post things without personal repercussion. However, leadership is personal. It is not a unending void you dump yourself into with the possible few likes or double clicks on a picture you post. Each thing you do as a leader is either liked or unliked. You don’t choose what people think of you; however, you have the complete ability to choose who you are and the path you forge as a leader.
I asked you this past week to check yourself. As I have said a hundred times before. You don’t have to be a pushover. Pushovers are by definition, people who are easy to overcome. Leaders have the ability to empower, the ability to listen, the ability to empathize, the ability to give the benefit of the doubt and the ability to see when they are the weak link in their team. Leadership isn’t perfection, but it is honesty… with your team and with yourself. As you grow as a leader, you will become more comfrotable with your team calling you out on some things just as you will call them out on others. Leadership is not a pedestal, it’s a side by side endeavour where you are setting an example right along with your people on the front lines. I’ll say it again, you do not need to be perfect. As a leader you are allowed to mess up because you are the first to apologize. As a human you’re going to have bad days. Believe it or not leaders are, in fact, all human. But keep in mind, your good days set an example, but how you handle your bad days as a leader, sets a lasting standard. It’s the golden rule of leadership, the quality of a team can never surpass the quality of its leadership.
So check yourself often. Make sure the root of the problems are not you. If you can’t see yourself accurately, don’t hesitate to find a trusted team member to tell you the real facts of how your team feels about you.
This is a hard challenge, but completely worth it.
Written by Emma and Karl Pister