I didn’t originally set out to be a leader.
It still makes me slightly uncomfortable saying it out loud. But I guess I need to call myself something, now that I am leading my own company and clearing the path for my team. It’s not that I lack confidence, but more likely born out of an old warped core belief. That, and my sincere desire to remain a humble and servant leader.
I can also tell you that for a long time, I did not want the responsibility. Leaders lead, and they don’t just lead themselves, they lead other people. That sounded a lot like responsibility, big responsibility.
Being a good leader meant I must be intentional.
I would have to be open to feedback that I didn’t always want or know what to do with. It meant being empathetic, when being judgmental was so much easier, and let’s face it, often much more entertaining. Being a good leader meant I couldn’t just do or say what I wanted, when I wanted. It meant I must be mindful. Earning trust would be integral. Every day I would need to lead in a way that maintained that trust. I would need to treat that trust like the fragile thing that it is.
I knew I would make mistakes, but I also needed to make sure that I learned from the mistakes of those who led before me. Too many times I observed leaders, when experiencing frustrations, immediately make excuses or blame others. Often while coaching leaders at my company TAP, we see leaders who lash out or bury their head in the sand. I knew a good leader learns over time, how to navigate.
I wasn’t sure I was up for the task, but I jumped anyway! I thought I would share some of the truths I have learned.
Trust is built through genuine care, authenticity and transparency.
"Good leaders learn to slow their step when necessary to walk beside their teams. They must also be ready to rush up ahead periodically to act as a sentinel, or to clear the path and act as a beacon."
If you are a leader or want to learn to be a good one you will need to watch your ego. You must also be mindful, put on that armor, and carry the correct tools to clear the path. It may be tough sometimes, and it may take more effort than you were initially willing to give.
It has been a journey for me to begin to tap into my potential, but I do so because of my passion to empower others. My friends, as you navigate, or learn to navigate the waters of leadership, be strong, be kind to yourself, and breathe. We are behind you, beside you, and sometimes in front of you, constantly cheering you on!