Have you ever met someone who wanted to be a in a leadership or managerial role but never displayed any reason or characteristics why they may be a good fit for that role? Have you ever worked with someone who received a promotion and all the “power” went to their head to the point where they began to mistreat others? Many people want to be promoted into positions for the notoriety that they believe comes with it but they have never portrayed any reason why they would operate successfully as a leader. One great way to evaluate how great someone would be as a leader is to see how they follow other leaders. Effective leaders know how to be effective followers.
I have had great leadership training and examples in my life for many years. Two key people that have provided me with leadership training are my pastors, Pastor Claude and Regina Harris. They’ve spoken many words of wisdom and I will share some of those with you over time. Once while he was speaking, Pastor Claude Harris, Sr. told the congregation that we don’t get a title to work. Instead we are to work for a title. This is very important to remember. Titles don’t mean anything if you don’t have the character, skills, and behavior that goes along with it. Due to this, many individuals have gone into roles and realized that it’s much more complex and challenging than they were ready for.
I personally have witnessed individuals in manager and leadership roles that were lazy, unethical, self-serving, and they handled their teams poorly in the way they treated them. It was a recipe for disaster and self-destruction. Employee morale became low, turnover was extremely high, and the tension was thick in the organization. We were functioning but we were far reaching the potential success that we were capable of. Before you step into any leadership role, understand what you’re getting into. Leading others and helping your organization reach success is very rewarding. It is also involves a lot of work and management.
I challenge you to examine yourself. Do you respect the leaders in your life? How well do you follow? How do you handle success? Are you humble? How do you treat others that are in roles subordinate to yours? Do you treat the custodian with the same kindness as the CEO? How do you handle stressful situations? Do you know how to motivate others? Are you honest and operate with integrity? Do you make unethical decisions when it benefits you? These are just some of the questions you can ask yourself before you step into a leadership role. Wanting a bigger office and salary are not the only reasons you should be seeking promotion. Leaders bring about change and impact others in a positive way. They also are constantly developing. Being responsible for the development and success of others and your organization is no small task and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Are you really ready to be a leader? Also, if you are already in a leadership role, are you operating effectively as a leader?