…people want to be led. They don’t want to be bossed…micromanaged…controlled…or bullied, but they want their leader to lead. No team wants to take the field without a coach; no actor wants to take the stage without a director; no business can survive without a leader. People do not want to be leaderless. Without a leader, people feel insecure. Without a leader, there is no one to set the pace and example. Without a leader, people are directionless.
Among my worst leadership moments was when one of my direct reports (a V.P.) looked me square in the eyes and said, “Lead me.” He was trying to give me a message: “I need more from you than I am getting.” Sadly, I missed it, didn’t change anything, and he continued frustrated and leaderless from his viewpoint.
True North Leadership #1 was “It’s not about you.” #2 was “You can only lead people.” And #3 was “People are different.”
#4 is: t
hose people you are leading actually want you to lead them. So don’t shrink back. Step it up and lead!
Not sure how? Ask your people what they really need from you—don’t assume you know. Learn from other leaders. Ask an experienced and effective leader to mentor you. Go to the Willow Creek Leadership Summit. Read Leadership Is An Art and Leadership Jazz by Max De Pree and a host of other books. (16 Stones has a recommended reading list. Check it out at 16stonesbook.com)
Every day is a good day to lead. You can do it. Your people need you to do it. So do it!
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© Copyright 2013 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company
"The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present."
Kouzes & Posner