With all the titles given these days that promise leadership, there seems to be too few leaders. And the question is, are you a leader? Here are the seven signs you might not be a leader, and if you’re not a leader, why you’re so miserable trying to lead.
The seven signs are:
1. You’re not a leader if you’re lazy. Leadership is hard work. It takes a lot of energy. It is definitely not a nine-to-five job. If you like to put in the minimum and get home to your hobbies or other distractions, you’re definitely not a leader.
2. You’re not a leader if you don’t like to read. I love the old saying that leaders are readers. Leaders constantly have to grow. Their skill sets are constantly improved by the latest information, and latest insights. They are constantly reading books, either on their iPod, hard copies, or their Kindle. Leaders are readers.
3. You’re not a leader if you don’t like people. Leadership is not a position. It’s not a corner office or a salary. It’s about people. It’s about interacting with people. It’s about trying to get selfish, self-centered, hurting, broken, wounded people to work together for a cause, for a goal, for a purpose. It’s the challenge to get them to set aside their own agendas and adopt a single agenda. To do this it means you must like people. People make things happen. They are the reason we do what we do. And if you fundamentally don’t like to work with people, you’re never going to be able to lead them.
4. You’re not a leader if you have a thin address book. By that I mean, leaders are people who collect people to connect to people. We love meeting people, exchanging business cards and knowing what makes them tick. We love putting people together in order to help them be successful. We collect large address books with connections. If your address book isn’t growing by a factor of 200-300 a year, you might not be a leader.
5. You’re not a leader if you avoid confrontation. I didn’t say that leaders like confrontation; the only people who like confrontation are bullies. Leaders don’t like confrontation. Good people, compassionate people, people who like people, who have something worth offering are uncomfortable with confrontation. But it doesn’t mean they avoid it. They realize that confrontation is a frontline skill-set for any leader. When you avoid confrontation, disease sets in to any organization no matter how long it’s been in business.
6. You’re not a leader if you hate change. Enough said.
7. You’re not a leader if you’re debilitated by criticism. I’ve heard it often said that praise and criticism is like chewing gum. It’s great to chew on it but you never swallow it. If you’re going to be a leader, you’re going to be criticized. Your motives, your practices, your policies are going to be held up for scrutiny. People are going to talk about you behind your back. And if that debilitates you, I didn’t say you have to like it; no one does. But if that debilitates you, you’re probably not a leader.
After reading these seven signs, one of the best things that you might do for yourself is to recognize that you’re not a leader. You need to go to the people you work with and tell them, “Give me a great task to do and I’ll do it better than anyone. But the leading thing is not for me.”
If you are a leader, lead! If you are not, then be the best follower you can be! It takes both~