To be a leader, you have to take it one step further than everyone else. Great leaders understand that although they cannot create every single situation to 100% accuracy, there are still a lot of factors they can influence their organization.When someone is asking me what makes a leader, I say a challenging situation. Great leaders know that only dead fish swim with the current. Leadership is always upstream.
They work harder to get through challenging times, searching for more creative solutions and mobilizing their teams to take action. They also take some time to reflect and think.
They know that they shouldn’t react impulsively, especially when the “heat is on”. Only after careful consideration and preparation do they act boldly. One of the biggest problem we face today at almost every level is lack of responsibility. We believe that someone else should fix our problems or someone else is the cause of the problem. How many times do you hear these comments?
Here are common complaints you may hear when leadership is NOT strong:
- “We don’t know what’s going on.”
- “I don’t know where we’re headed.”
- “Things just get decided, then we find out about it.”
- “I don’t know if they’re happy with my work.”
- “I’m not even sure if I’m working on the right things right now.”
When leaders take responsibility and see themselves as the one who can, must and will do something, everything else changes. When we act boldly, our relationships gets better, our career gets better, our organization gets better and our world gets better. That takes leadership courage.
First-Believe you can change things
Great leaders believe in the power to change by having a vision. It all begins with a compelling vision. A vision of how things can be better and believing they are up to the task to accomplish it. If you want to step up and change things, you first have to believe you can. You have to see a positive future and that you have the power to make a difference. You can create the future.
They take 100% responsibility
When leaders take 100% responsibility and give themselves zero excuses for why they can’t or should act to make things different-everything changes. When leaders take responsibility, they are not looking to anyone else to fix the problem. They are problem solvers. Willing to ask the hard question-What can we personally do to make things better?
Begin where you are and do what you can
Most people don’t know where to start. They wait for a magic wand to be waived and take action. Begin where you are is having the trust and intuition that even a starting point is critical. You can’t look at the finish line just yet. But you have to show up for the race and get ready to step up.
Leadership is not a position
Each of us in one way or another is a leader. We all have some sort of influence even if we don’t intend to. Choosing to show up in a situation whether at work or community, we are making a statement. We are leading by what we say and how we contribute. Not all leaders are alike. They all come in different shapes and forms, but the one thing attributed to great leaders is that they chose to show up and lead regardless of their title or position.
Before asking others to sacrifice, first volunteer yourself. If there are sacrifices to be made – and there will be – the real leaders stand up and make the greatest impact. Everyone is watching to see what the leaders do. Do they walk the talk?
Will they stay true to their vision? Will they confront the challenges in a straight-forward manner? Will they be fooled by short-term rewards, or will they make long-term sacrifices in order to fix real issues?