At a recent speaking engagement, someone asked about how to help one of their team members fully embrace their role as a leader. The “leader” in question, was focused almost exclusively on his functional responsibility. I’ve encountered this scenario countless times over the years – a person in a leadership role sees themselves as a functional manager first – they see themselves as an accountant, a lawyer, a minister to children, or whatever.
To these men and women, leadership may be part of their role, but it is certainly not primary. This is a huge mistake. If you’re in a position of leadership, you must be a leader first. What does it mean to be a leader first? Here are a few things for you to consider…
You must be concerned about the future
You are responsible for the engagement level of your team members
You must always be scouting for talent
You need to be keenly aware of opportunities to do things differently
You want to be sure to offer encouragement at every opportunity
You need to challenge people to do their best work
You must identify and close skill gaps on your team
You must help the team identify what a win looks like
You need to be sure the team’s scorecard is clear
You must be vulnerable and transparent with your team
You will be the champion for building community among your team
You need to establish the values that will drive the behaviors of your group
You must continually sharpen your leadership skills
You must be concerned with team dynamics
You must be focused on helping others grow
You need to see your role as servant to the team
Regardless of the discipline you work in, people need to be well led. This rarely happens if the point leader doesn’t embrace his or her role as leader first. If you are in a leadership position – lead with all diligence![GLS_Shield]
Here’s a link to a FREE leadership assessment. You may want to complete the assessment yourself and then use it to get 360 feedback from those in your organization.
Author: Mark Miller
Mark is a business leader, author, communicator, photographer, husband, and father. He spends his time helping leaders grow.