Starting before you are ready – Successful people start before they feel ready, it’s hard because you are pulled by excitement and deterred by confusion simultaneously. If you’re working on something important, then you’ll never feel ready, but people are watching, they are waiting and no matter how long you wait you won’t be ready, so shoot the puck.
Sticking with a tough decision – It takes guts to make tough decisions, they are often misunderstood or vehemently opposed. What takes real guts is to stick with a tough decision, it’s one of the harder parts of leadership. We can’t ask for the right answer since there probably isn’t one. But when we learn how to develop a point of view, we are able to stick with a tough decision even during a storm. Don’t forget that emotion is the enemy when holding to tough decisions.
Leading From The Back – A leader’s job is to create more leaders, and there’s only one place this can be done from: the back. When we lead from the back, we are out of the spotlight, giving credit away, taking responsibility but not stealing the revelation someone makes, and understanding every decision we make is about people.
Dr. Isaiah Hankel, speaker and best selling author, shared the following with me recently. “It took me a long time to realize I was leading from the main stage, instead of stepping back and taking responsibility of all the mistakes in the organization. This was highly frustrating for me and my team, until one day I realized that no one on the team was taking responsibility for anything because I was not openly, and vocally stepping up to take responsibility myself. This meant saying, ‘This is my fault because I didn’t give you enough guidance’ and, ‘Here’s what I did wrong.’ I then moved to the back and let others take the spotlight and simply guided from the sidelines.”
It’s extremely hard to lead from the back because we have so many images and stories where the hero is bigger than life, standing up front, on stage soaking it all in. But when you realize the monologue creates far less value than the dialogue you end up asking more questions. This on its own moves you to the back, where great leaders might not shine in the spotlight, but they create lasting and meaningful results.
Like most things in life, leadership doesn’t get easier. Leadership is necessary in all aspects of our life. Leadership is present in parenting, community, and it even impacts friendships. Being a humble and compassionate leader does not need to conflict with being a decisive, creative, and charismatic leader. Onward and upward.