Am I Okay with the Cost of Self-Leadership?

May 29, 2024
# min read
Janice Giannini

Many articles, books, speeches, and posts talk about influential leaders' characteristics, qualities, and actions. In addition, processes and action plans abound. Undoubtedly, if you are reading this, you have read at least a few of those above.

I want to offer a more straightforward approach to understanding effective leadership to consider:

  • Be honest with yourself, about yourself.
  • Do the right thing when there is a choice between right and wrong—even minor things matter. Choosing what's right over what is easy builds trust and credibility.
  • Invest time in understanding the big picture and expressing that picture in words that most people can comprehend.
  • Negotiate and compromise, and seek to understand multiple points of view, not just the last person who walked into your office.
  • Remember, you need to earn respect daily; without it, you and your company will flounder.
  • Run towards the hard-to-have conversations. Respect yourself and others to address the concerns promptly.
  • Say please and thank you; it's not just formality; it's a sign of respect. Whether you make a million dollars or minimum wage, all humans must be and feel respected.
  • Recognize the power of effective communication. Use your words to share the rationale with the team so they can understand "the why" of what they need to do and when, as well as the consequences. For example, if you miss the market window, you lose the first advantage and revenue.

 

Why is leadership complex? It requires that we confront our own fears and insecurities along the way, and sustaining that behavior for the long term is hard! 

Leadership in today's world is counter cultural; the social norms that got us here will only get us to the next step in some cases. Leadership requires honesty in evaluating and acting in the best interest of the business's short/ mid—and long-term growth and others. 

Leadership does not start with processes, tools, or developmental courses. It begins by looking in the mirror and asking one question. Do I want to be a leader?

Knowing that when you answer yes I want to be a leader, you embark on a journey of self-growth. You become a role model, and your life will not be the same.

Understanding the cost of being a leader, not just the cost of getting to a leadership position, is critical.

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