When I began to move up the ranks in the hotel business, I got into a management position in my mid-twenties. I have to admit that part of me was not ready for leadership. From a technical skill and industry know how, I was ready to take on more responsibilities but as I reflect on it today, leading people was still a new concept for me.
I was lucky to have great mentors when I started my career in the hotel business. They modeled leadership excellence day in and day out. They lead by example and spoke louder with their actions. They provided on-going guidance and wisdom of their personal experience in the hotel business.
But leadership must to be tried and tested on a personal level. You are going to fail, get up and try again and sometimes fail again and have the strength to begin a new journey. Leadership is a big responsibility and not always easy, but if you are willing to take the high road, you will be successful.
When I began my leadership journey, I wish I took the time and reflect about some questions to assess where I am at emotionally and professionally when it comes to leading people at a higher level.
These questions are relevant today, as I would have asked them when I first became a new manager. So, here are some questions to ponder if you are a new leader or just simply thinking about being a leader in your industry. These questions can you help you examine the purpose and the value of leading effectively.
Question 1- Am I hungry to learn and be very intentional about growth?
When people get into their first management role, they feel like they have arrived, reaching a destination. The reality is you never reach a destination but simply a milestone in the life long journey of leadership. So, you have to be constantly in a learning mode and grow your potential every day. What have you done recently that accelerated your development and growth as a leader?
If you want to make an impact on others, you better make an impact on yourself. Your team will not succeed or grow without your own personal development. I have seen too many leaders and managers that simply have stopped growing and their influence stopped making an impact on their team.
Question 2-What can I do to add value to the people I lead?
Successful leaders have one thing in common. They are the plus in people’s lives! Each one of us has someone who made a positive impact and added value to who we are today. They cared, they took the time to listen and support us through tough times. Your leadership influence will not grow with more authority or responsibility. It will grow when you add value to people. When you are willing to give and serve others before you serve yourself.
Question 3-How can I be a better person?
Authentic leadership begins on the inside. I constantly strive to be a better person in my life. If I can be a better person, I can be a better leader. When you learn more about yourself and your overall character, you are setting yourself up for success as a leader. You are willing to reflect and examine your values a little closer without judgment toward yourself and others.
This is the moment when you take responsibility for everything that happens in your life. It’s tough for some people, but successful leaders have the courage to see clearly and truthfully what’s operating below the surface to bring about positive changes in their life.
What would you like to add? What questions would you add to the list?