Just because you’re the person in charge doesn’t mean you’re a leader. Yes, most leaders want their organizations to be successful. But many them have don’t have the courage to actually follow through and do what it takes.
In order to take your team where they need to go, you need to have the courage to take a stand and to make the tough decisions required to bring about success.
You’ve got to commit
It’s not enough to simply decide you are going to take a risk or do something new. You have to be willing to put yourself in uncomfortable situations in order to make that happen.
Being a true leader means digging deep. It means finding the courage to take on some or all of the following challenges:
Rejection – When you are forging a new path, rejection and challenges are a normal reaction. But when you believe strongly enough in your ideas, you will be able to move beyond the initial sting of rejection and help your team gain a level of understanding, acceptance, and enthusiasm for your vision.
Connection– Business is all about connections. You need to connect to the right team members, partners, and clients. Strong connections happen when you have the right conversations. Sometimes, these are also the tough conversations. Leaders who share their ideas openly, honestly, and frequently are the leaders who do great things.
Follow through – Sharing an idea is great, but we all know actions speak louder than words. It’s not okay to introduce an initiative and then disappear or to say one thing and then do something different. If you want to get others motivated, you have to let them see that you’re the first one to buy in and that you’re 100% onboard. You must lead by example.
Authenticity – We all have ideas about who the world says we should be as individuals, as business professionals, and as organizational leaders. However, those ideas may or may not be relevant. True leaders are those who don’t get caught up in what they are supposed to be. They find the courage to be what they need to be for themselves, the organization, and the team.
Vulnerability – Leaders need to be innovative, take chances, and yes— sometimes fail. This is the road to learning and improvement. Leaders who are afraid to fail in front of their own teams create an environment where it becomes too dangerous for anyone to make an attempt that may not succeed. The only way to build a culture of honesty and innovation is by being honest and innovative. And by finding the courage to put yourself out there.
Accountability – Great leaders hold themselves accountable, during the good times and the bad. Not only to they take responsibility for their own actions, they also hold their teams accountable for their behaviors and results. Sometimes, great leaders have to let go of the idea of being nice in favor of being effective. This can be tough. Sometimes you lose employees. Sometimes you lose friends. But this is what true leadership looks like.
Find your courage
Even Superman would probably admit it’s not always easy doing what’s right. It’s difficult, challenging, and sometimes terrifying. But it’s also hugely rewarding.
If you’re in a leadership position, it’s time summon your inner superhero.
What are you waiting for? Put on your leadership cape and get to work.