I read Chris LoCurto’s blogs regularly. Chris is a strong leader with the Dave Ramsey Company and has a lot of insight in the area of leadership. Below is a recent post I want to pass on to my readers. It’s a great lesson you can teach to your team on real leadership. If you would like to know more about Chris you can go http://chrislocurto.com/about/
by Chris LoCurto
The decision to become a leader should be considered carefully. So many people see a position and a title and believe it's exactly what they want to do. The problem is, leading is so much more than telling people what to do.
In fact, by definition, if you want to know if you're a leader, turn around. If nobody is following you, then by definition you're not leading anyone. You see, we have become so confused with this term "leader". For some reason we think being a leader is all about control, conquest, and status. I'm going to tell you that if that is why you want to be a leader, you're going to find yourself spending most of your time frustrated, upset, and confused as to why nothing is going the way you want it to. Leadership is not about you. My belief is as a leader it is your job to make your team successful, not the other way around.
Unfortunately, I know and coach so many "leaders" that don't understand that concept. To them, they should be the one getting all the attention. When really, you should spend your time focused on the needs of your team. If you make them better, and you cause them to succeed, then by default you succeed as well.
Some questions you should ask yourself before, or even now that you're a leader:
■ Do I like people? - If not, why do I want to be a leader? If you don't get excited to work with your team, and know their dreams, passions, fears, and kids names, then why would you want to lead them?
■ What are my strengths?- In Why You Must Discover Your Strengths I discuss why working in your strengths is vital. A huge mistake so many companies make is putting people in leadership roles when they don't belong there. A classic example is taking the top salesperson and making them sales team leader, because surely, if they can sell that well they can lead. Who said they could lead? If leading isn't your strength, you'll be miserable. Why spend one day doing something you're not strong at instead of spending your life doing what you love?
■ Do I have influence? - Quite often I am asked about the first steps of leading from people who have recently been put in a leadership role. The first rule of leadership is influence. As a leader, you must be able to influence people. Without influence, who's going to listen to you?
■ What is my real reason? - Many young high D type people see leadership as a pinnacle. A ladder that must be climbed if you're going to be somebody. If that's you, then you need to reevaluate your reason for wanting to be in leadership. Leadership is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. The more I hired people, the more I felt the weight of their need to feed their families and put a roof over their heads. If that doesn't enter your mind, then it's all about you and not your team.