24 October 2005

Preparing to be a leader

The development of leadership is comprised of several elements, that need to be clear beforehand.
The first element is a question:
“Are you sure about leading other people?”
That question should be asked, not because leading other people is the worst job there is, but because leading is more than giving orders from within a well defined plan communicated in the right way.
Leading means taking into account, that others stop taking responsibility for their actions, simply because the leader is responsible for everything.
  • How do you make them understand, that they are responsible and need to take responsibility for what they do?
Leadership also includes taking into account the jealousy of others, who wanted to be the leader instead of you. Or the jealousy of those who think they can do a better job than you at being a leader.
  • How do you make those jealous ones let go of their jealousy?
Being a leader also means having to meet people with the expectancy that you are or should be infallible.
  • How do you make it clear, that being a leader, does not mean you stopped being a human and so you will make mistakes?
It also seems that having the leadership includes seeing the future more clearly than others, without the information and knowledge of others about what the present looks like.
  • How do you make them help you with their knowledge and information?
Leadership according to many entails: telling others what to do and how to do it.
  • How do you make them understand, that their way of working is no worse than yours or even better than yours?
  • And that you do not posses all knowledge and skills just because you are the leader?
Some think that leaders are without fear or fearless.
  • How do you make them see, that it is not about being without fear, but that it is about conquering your fears and taking decisions or action although you are afraid?
Being the leader means you have manipulated those who took the decision to make you the leader, because you had compromising information about them or bought their loyalty.
  • How do you convince them that your were chosen on basis of your merits and abilities and you were the best the decision makers could find for the job?
Leadership is according to some the willingness to lie and cheat to keep your position and protect the company.
  • How do you make it clear that a real leader does not lie to safe his position or protect his company?
There are more questions you can ask, before you decide to start taking on your role as a leader. Especially because if you do not answer them beforehand, you might find out the hard way during your leadership, that they exist.

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