I wanted to take a small amount of time to discuss with you some lessons that I have learned in Leadership over the past few years. It is my hope that you can utilize some of these traits in your job in a way that would help you to prosper and achieve your career goals. One thing that I have learned is that there are many more employees that are more comfortable NOT leading and there are very few that will voluntarily take on leadership roles. Why is this?
Being a leader is much harder: Take a look at the leaders around you. If they are a good leader, you should notice that they have taken a lot of responsibility onto their shoulders. They are accountable for many things that are just uncomfortable and hard to handle. These responsibilities take time and effort to be responsible for. Sometimes when I am asked to speak to a group of people I regularly will take a box with a $10 bill in it and just ask the crowd: Who would like the responsibility of this package? They do not know at the time that they are going to receive a $10 bill. Their thought is: “Man, that looks like work. I don’t want to have to do more.” But when they open the box, they see a reward. Well let me tell you a little secret; Big rewards come from taking on responsibility. Not very many things in life pay off big by being easy. Most things that are worthwhile and things that people are most proud of were just difficult to attain. Example: Any professional athlete. They did not get there by sitting around and doing nothing. They worked hard.
Being a leader takes heart: If you desire to be a leader, things will most likely get difficult. Hurdles will get in your way and there may become times that you just do not think that you can do it anymore. The best leaders have the ability to fight through these obstacles. It takes heart and desire to get through those times. But if you take some time to try and think about the leaders in your life that you look up to. You will notice that they do these things . they take on the hard and sometimes make it look easy. But I’ll bet you if you spoke with them, they would tell you a list of stories of difficult times that they had to endure to get through the tough times that you may not have known about. But yet you look up to them and often times wish you were like them. Why not try?
Becoming a leader: I was once asked in a book that I read to list out all of the things that I looked for in a leader. I wrote things like trustworthy, authentic, candid, caring, approachable, honest, hardworking, loyal, motivating, responsible, steady, and strong were just a few. After I wrote down these descriptive words, they asked me if I had those qualities in me. At first I thought…….no. And then I thought why not? At that point, I decided to try to work on the qualities that I thought were good traits of a leader and incorporate those traits within me. The idea was to become those things for others around me. Not only would I be able to work on who I wanted to be, but I eventually attracted the attention of other leaders and have had the opportunity to be mentored by people that I never thought that I would be around.
Yes, being a leader is hard, and it takes work. But it is ultimately something that is not only good for you, but also good for others who are around you. If you admire traits in others, why not make attempts to become those things for yourself. It is one of the best things that I have ever done was put effort into learning those traits that I wrote down that day. You have to be intentional and it does take work, but it is well worth it.