It’s a well worn line in the history of business…you either lead or be led. But you and I both know that leadership has so many levels, angles and dimensions. Today you can lead, tomorrow - led.
So as a leader, you are called upon to lead, daily. It is part of who you are. You are providing teams and colleagues with direction, advice and guidance. You create policy and set the tone. You are driving the actions and people to execute and meet organizational objectives. Today. But where are you tomorrow, given all of the turmoil in the market and globally. Better question…where do you want to be?
There are often impinging factors that impact where you are in the continuum of leading or being led. There are quality and process initiatives, human resource programs, marketplace dynamics, industry imperatives and more. What does it take to grow the roots that keep you steady and certain while the chaos around you swirls? In all of this, there is a place for you to stand strong, bend and not break with the blowing winds of change and the multiple complex issues that challenge you daily.
First acknowledge that you are in the place of leadership, now, because you are ready for it. Your knowledge and skills helped senior leaders to see your potential, but your ability to lead others is what will demonstrate that their decision was a wise one. Next, recognize that leadership includes being flexible enough to incorporate new learning, ideas, and people into your toolkit. It may feel a bit like being led, but in fact it is an expansion of who you are and the set of leadership competencies and skills that help you succeed. It is a misnomer that once placed in a leadership role, you can never be misled. Surrounding yourself with the best in mentors, coaches, teams to lead, will all serve to lead you to a higher caliber of leadership. But the true test of the strength of your leadership – especially when expanded through acquisition of new knowledge, experiences and networks is how you convert all of that to create and demonstrate the leader you were meant to be.
Lead today, by growing your skills and talents and be led by those whose expertise complements and develops yours. The true skill of a high caliber leader is in knowing how to leverage both.
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