In this episode of the Manlihood Mancast, Josh Hatcher tells us why LEADERSHIP isn’t a dirty word.
The word LEADERSHIP sometimes seems to have a negative connotation attached. It’s not a dirty word – and it’s a skill that can make a man and his surroundings better.
Leadership isn’t Lordship
Part of the negative connotation comes from people who have done leadership poorly. It’s important to understand that leadership is not lordship.
Leadership is a sacred privilege. It is not a right that makes one man higher and better than another. It’s a responsibility to influence people.
It’s important not to exploit our roles as leaders – so that we can lead effectively, and lead well. Too often, our positions become corrupted by selfishness, laziness, or just a lack of skill.
And skill is at the heart of leadership. We often talk of “born leaders” – and maybe some are born with a certain level of skill – but anyone can develop the skills that make a good leader.
I think that our first leadership role is to lead ourselves. Are we disciplined with our finances, our health, our time, our relationships? If not, where do we start? If so, how do we improve and take things to the next level?
I’d encourage you to make a personal development plan.
1. Identify area of your life that you know needs work.
2. Set a 1 week, 1 month, 1 quarter, 1 year, and 5 year goal for that area. Make them Specific. Write them Down. Post them in a visual place to remind yourself!
3. Identify four or five books that you will read to help you with that area.
4. Identify three or four blogs to follow that will help you.
5. Identify a mentor who seems to have success in that area – and ask them for advice. Offer to buy them lunch, and then make a list of questions to ask them.
6. Find three or four friends with a similar struggle – and meet once a week or once a month to encourage each other.
7. Evaluate your goals each time you hit those milestones, and make adjustments to stay on track!
Leading From the Backseat
Leadership is not a position. Certainly, a supervisor or a manager is expected to be a leader – but the position itself does not impart leadership.
Often, you may find yourself with a positional leader, who knows nothing about leadership. This can be a frustrating place to be – but it can also be an opportunity for you to shine.
Sometimes, leadership is working from the bottom in such a way that you can influence your coworkers (and bosses) without having that position.
Are you the guy that solves problems? Are you the guy that puts everyone in a good mood? Are you the guy that sets an example for the others? What about helping your boss give you direction?
What are some ways that you can lead from the backseat?
Leadership has Limits
Being in a leadership position is a responsibility, and a privilege. It’s about serving the people you lead, not barking orders and making them serve you.
As a leader – there are limits to your leadership.
1. Your first limit is you. You can only lead people to places you have gone. Lead Yourself, Invest in yourself.
2. You cannot have expectations without communication.
The level with which you communicate will determine the level at which you can lead.
Remember that communication by definition does not exist if it does not have a transmitter and a receiver. Your mouth is your transmitter – their BRAIN is the receiver. That means you may be sending it to their ears – but if they don’t receive that communication – then it by definition – doesn’t exist. Find ways to make sure your staff can reiterate what your expectations are.
3. You cannot show disrespect.
This is a limit you cannot cross. If your staff has violated or not met your expectations – then you need to have a clear method to deal with it. “You didn’t perform X as requested. This is the consequence.” Deal with it swiftly, fairly, and honestly. Part of leadership is accepting that not everyone will like the decisions you make… but there is no room for insults, gossip, and disrespect.
4. You are limited by the amount of responsibility you are willing to take.
Your success and failure IS the success and failure of your people. If your employee fails – you have failed. It’s not “their fault” for screwing up – it’s “your fault” for not providing proper training, accountability, etc. Remember that leadership BEARS the responsibility of their team.
5. You are limited by the praise you dole out.
If you are not the most positive and encouraging person on your team – then that is a limit you will hit. When success gets credited to you – it’s up to you to pass it along to your people.
Leadership really isn’t a dirty word – and I am sure you already knew that. Truth is – everyone of us has influence with someone- and leadership at its very core is influence. Let’s strive to be better leaders in all areas.
Want to weigh in? Comment here, or log in to our private facebook group – The Manlihood Mancave to discuss this with other men!
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